Dr Elsa Panciroli

Contact details: elsa.panciroli@oum.ox.ac.uk
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Twitter: @gsciencelady
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ORCID ID0000-0001-8350-3380

Research summary

Dr Panciroli uses X-ray tomography and digital visualisation to understand the anatomy and growth of the first mammals and their closest relatives. Her work focuses on mammals from the Mesozoic, a time when we see the origin of major groups and ways of life. In particular, she is interested in growth patterns and the role of body size in the development of mammal ecomorphology. This work involves the high-resolution scanning of fossil material and application of statistical methods to explore bone shape and tooth microstructure. This work helps us understand the assembly of mammal traits, and how they have contributed to the group’s ongoing evolutionary success.

Many of Dr Panciroli’s specimens come from the Isle of Skye, where she is a leading member in ongoing field research. Many of her key specimens come from the island. She also collaborates on other fossils from Scotland and the rest of the British Isles, including squamates, salamanders, and dinosaurs.


Elsa Panciroli is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the museum, supported by the John Fell Fund. Prior to this, she was a researcher at the University of Oxford Earth Sciences department. She is also an Affiliate Researcher at National Museums Scotland, where she previously completed her PhD on Scottish Jurassic mammal fossils from the Kilmaluag Formation on Skye. This was undertaken in joint partnership with the University of Edinburgh as part of the NERC DTP. She carried out her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at the University of the Highlands and Islands, before embarking on an MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol, focusing on the ecomorphology of the carnivoran ankle and supervised by Professor Christine Janis.