Laura Mònica Martínez Martínez

Professora lectora



Short biography

I am paleoanthropologist and human evolution professor at the University of Barcelona. With my training in Biology, I specialize in morphological adaptations of teeth and skull in hominins and other primates and focus my research interests on dental anthropology within paleoanthropological and bioarchaeological context, including tooth microwear and microtexture, 3D dental wear and tooth morphology, skull morphology and osteology. I have been member of several archaeological and anthropological missions in Spain, Africa and Asia as a researcher and physical anthropologist. I am member of the recognized Quality Research Group of Evolutive Biology of Primates by Catalan Government (SGR-2017-0102) and I participate in several research projects in collaboration with other institutions as the CSIC.

I combine the research with teaching human evolution, tooth evolution and anatomy in Biology, Archaeology and Odontology faculties within a biological perspective. I am member of the European Society for the study of Humane Evolution (ESHE) and I codirect the Paleobaboon Research Project (

Research interests

My research interest lies in studying the evolution of the morphological adaptations of the hominins in relation to climatic and ecological shifts during the Plio-Pleistocene. To do this, my research analyzes the abrassivity of the diet through microtexture analysis and the morphological changes in teeth and skull. I study, therefore, reference collections of primates and hunter-gatherers with known diet. On the other hand, my second scientific interest focuses on the dietary changes during the paleolithic-neolithic transition and the evolution of the morphology of teeth and skulls.

Methodologically, I apply a multi-proxy analysis based on 3D microtexture and 3D macrowear in known diet groups to make inferences in fossils. I also apply 3D Geometric Morphometrics analyses in teeth and skull to understand the morphological adaptations in the masticatory apparatus.

Selected publications

  • Romero, A., Pérez-Pérez, A., Atiénzar, G. G., Martínez, L. M., & Macho, G. A. (2022). Do rates of dental wear in extant African great apes inform the time of weaning?. Journal of Human Evolution, 163, 103126.
  • Cuesta-Torralvo, E., Pacheco, D., Martínez, L. M., Romero, A., Umbelino, C., Avià, Y., & Pérez-Pérez, A. (2021). Three-Dimensional Proxies to Dental Wear Characterization in a Known Age-at-Death Skeletal Collection. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 28(4), 1261-1275.
  • Martínez, L. M., Estebaranz-Sánchez,F., Romero, A., Ibáñez, J. J., Hidalgo-Trujillo, L., Avià, Y., &Pérez-Pérez, A. (2022). Effectiveness of buccaldental-microwear texture in African Cercopithecoidea dietarydiscrimination.American Journal of Biological Anthropology,179(4), 678–686.
  • Avià Y, Romero A, Estebaranz-Sánchez F, Pérez-Pérez A, Cuesta-Torralvo E and Martínez LM (2022) Dental topography and dietary specialization in Papionini primates. Front. Ecol. Evol. 10:969007. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.969007