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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

“Evolution is a tinkerer.”
Francois Jacob.

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno Transmitting Science coordinatorSince I was a student I was mystified for how evolution works. I would like to understand how evolution operates to generate / restrict morphological diversity. For me (a palaeontologist’s point of view with few or no access to genetic data) that mean to analyse changes in morphology in the light of phylogenetic and functional constrains.

At the end of my degree I became fascinated by xenarthrans, as they are so unique, mostly unknown, strange mammals. In consequence, I did my PhD developing ecomorphological analysis and body mass estimation on mainly Pleistocene gliptodonts and ground sloths. As so many ecological and physiological characteristics correlate with body mass, accurate estimations are very important in palaeontology.

Now I keep working with them, trying to identify patterns of integration in the xenarthran skull with the help of geometric morphometrics methods, with the aim of understanding why they had (and have) this huge disparity in comparison with other clades of mammals.

Despite my personal obsession with xenarthrans, I like to collaborate with colleagues working with other vertebrates, always a good occasion to get new points of view and to learn more about animal diversity and evolution.

Research topics: Body mass estimation, geometric morphometrics, finite element analysis, comparative phylogenetic methods, integration and modularity, ecomorphology, functional analysis, Xenarthra.

Contact: soledad.esteban@transmittingscience.com

Educational background

– B.Sc.: Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 2001.
– PhD: Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 2008.
– Postdoc: Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), Barcelona, Spain, 2008-2010.

Current position

Scientific Director at Transmitting Science / Researcher at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP).

Selected publications

  • Marcé-Nogué, J. Fortuny, S. De Esteban-Trivigno, M. Sánchez, Ll. Gil, À. Galobart. 2015. 3D computational mechanics elucidate the evolutionary implications of orbit position and size diversity of early amphibians. PlosOne, 10(6): e0131320.
  • Blanco, A. Prieto-Márquez, S. De Esteban-Trivigno. 2015. Diversity of hadrosauroid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Ibero-Armorican Island (European Archipelago) assessed from dentary morphology. Cretaceous Research, 56:447-457.
  • Serrano-Fochs, S. De Esteban-Trivigno, J. Marcé-Nogué, J. Fortuny, R. A. Fariña. 2015. Finite Element Analysis of the Cingulata Jaw: An Ecomorphological Approach to Armadillo’s Diets. PlosOne, 10 (4), e0120653.
  • Marcé-Nogué, J., DeMiguel, D., Fortuny, J., De Esteban-Trivigno, S., Gil, L. 2013. Quasi-homothetic transformation for comparing the mechanical performance of planar models in biological research. Palaeontologia Electronica, 16, (3); 6T; 15p. Download.
  • Robles, J.M., Alba, D., Fortuny, F., De Esteban-Trivigno, S., Rotgers, C., Balaguer, J., Carmona, R., Galindo, J., Almécija, S., Bertó, J.V., Moyà-Solà, S. 2013. New craniodental remains of the barbourofelid Albanosmilus jourdani (Filhol, 1883) from the Miocene of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (NE Iberian Peninsula) and the phylogeny of the Barbourofelini. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI:10.1080/14772019.2012.724090. Download.
  • Ibañez-Gimeno, P., De Esteban-Trivigno, S., Jordana, X., Manyosa, J., Malgossa, A. and Galtés, I. 2013. Functional plasticity of the human humerus: Shape, rigidity, and muscular entheses. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150 (4): 609-617.
  • Minwer-Barakat, R., Madurell, J., Alba, D., Aurell, J., De Esteban-Trivigno, S., Moyà-Solà, S. 2011. Pleistocene rodents from the Torrent de Vallparadís section (Terrassa, northeastern Spain) and biochronological implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(4): 849-865.
  • De Esteban-Trivigno, S. 2011. Ecomorfología de xenarthros extintos a través del análisis de la mandíbula con métodos de morfometría geométrica. Ameghiniana, 48 (3): 381-398.
  • De Esteban-Trivigno, S. 2011. Buscando patrones ecomorfológicos comunes entre ungulados actuales y xenartros extintos. Ameghiniana, 48 (2): 177-188.
  • De Esteban-Trivigno, S. and Köhler, M. 2011. New equations for body mass estimation in bovids: Testing some procedures when constructing regression functions. Mammalian Biology, 76 (6): 755-761.
  • Fortuny .J., Marcé-Nogué J., De Esteban-Trivigno S., Gil L. and Galobart A. 2011. Temnospondyli bite club: Ecomorphological patterns of the most diverse group of early tetrapods. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24: 2040-2054.
  • Moyà-Solà S., Alba D.M., Almécija S., Casanovas-Vilar I., Köhler M., De Esteban-Trivigno S., Robles J.M., Galindo, J., Fortuny, J. 2009. A unique Middle Miocene European hominoid and the origins of the great ape and human clade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(24): 9601-9606.
  • Köhler, M., Moyá-Solá, S. and De Esteban-Trivigno, S. 2008. Morphological variables and associated individual body weight for bovids. New equations for body mass predictions. Mitt. hamb. zool. Mus. Inst., 105: 103-136.
  • De Esteban-Trivigno. S., Mendoza, M. and De Renzi, M. 2008. Body mass estimation in Xenarthra: Predictive equations suitable for all quadrupedal terrestrial placentals? Journal of Morphology, 269: 1276-1293.


  • Introducción al Análisis Estadístico en Biociencias (2013, 2015, Transmitting Science).
  • Introducción a la Estadística Multivariante, short course (2012, Transmitting Science).
  • Introduction to Geometric Morphometrics, short course (2011, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)).
  • Morfometría Geométrica para principiantes, short course (2014, 2016, Transmitting Science).
  • Master of Palaeontology (2016, Universitat de València, UV).
  • Master of Palaeontology (2008-2015, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB).
  • Geology (2005-2006, Universitat de València, UV).
  • Oceanography for ambiental sciences (2005-2006, Universitat de València, UV).

Member of the following societies

  • Asociación Paleontológica Argentina (APA).
  • European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP).
  • European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB).
  • Sociedad Española de Paleontología (SEP).
  • Societat Catalana de Biologia (SCB).
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP).