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Department of Archaeology



The University of Pretoria (UP, South Africa) saw my completion of three degrees, namely:

2015: BSc Medical Science

2016: BSc(Hons) Neuro-anatomy

2019: MSc Anatomy (awarded with distinction)

During my postgraduate studies I was granted the opportunity to undertake numerous concurrent experience-developing activities, including two internships (a 12-month period served for the DST-NRF, South Africa from 2016-2017; and a 6-month period masters exchange program to Toulouse (France) by the AESOP+ program (Erasmus Mundus) in 2018), and worked as a junior lecturer in clinical anatomy at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (South Africa) in 2017 and 2019.

Between 2020-2021 I was concurrently an assistant research officer for the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Operations division, and a technical assistant for the Bakeng se Africa project, affording my involvement in various projects, non-exclusively including anatomical museum maintenance, human bone collection digitisation, establishing a medical school in Eswatini and a COVID-19 vaccination site, respectively.


My research interest focuses on human brain evolution and questions concerning the timing and emergence of derived cerebral features of modern humans. By using modern imaging techniques, which provide new reconstruction capabilities of some of the most fragmented specimens, I would like to revise the fossil hominin record by tracking structural changes in the brain of our ancestors and their relatives, by quantitatively assessing brain sulcal pattern variation in extant and fossil hominoid endocasts.

Key Publications

Key publications: 


-de Jager E., Risser L., Mescam M., Fonta C., Beaudet A. - Sulci 3D mapping from human cranial endocasts: A powerful tool to study hominin brain evolution - Human Brain Mapping

-de Jager E., Prigge L., Amond N., Oetté A., Beaudet A. - Exploring the relationship between soft and hard tissues: The example of vertebral arteries and transverse foramina - Journal of Anatomy


-Herselman R., Lalloo V., Ueckermann V., van Tonder DJ., de Jager E., Spijkerman S., van der Merwe W., du Pisanie M., Hatting F., Stanton D., Hofmeyr R. - Adapted full-face snorkel masks as an alternative for COVID-19 PPE during aerosol generating procedures: A multi-centre, non-blinded in-situ simulation study – African Journal of Emergency Medicine.


-Dumoncel J., Subsol G., Durrleman S., de Jager E., Oettlé AC., Lockhat Z., Suleman FE., Beaudet A. - An MRI- and CT-based quantitative comparison of the brain and the brain endocast – Journal of Anatomy.


-de Jager E., van Schoor A., Hoffman J., Oettlé A., Fonta C., Mescam M., Risser L., Beaudet A. - Sulcal pattern variation in extant human endocasts – Journal of Anatomy.


-Beaudet A., Stratford D., de Jager E., De Beer F., Heaton J., Dhaene J., McClymont J., Kuman K, Carlson K, Jakata K, Bruxelles L, Crompton R, Clarke R, Jashashvili T, Pickering T. - The endocast of StW 573 (“Little Foot”) and hominin brain evolution – Journal of Human Evolution.

-de Jager E., du Plessis A., Hoffman J., Oettlé, A., Bosman M. - Visualization Within the Ventricles of the Brain: A Micro-Focus X-Ray Study - The Anatomical Record.

Teaching and Supervisions


I was involved in supervising the B3 (Human evolution) paper during Michaelmas term 2021.

Demonstrator for B18/AS5 and FAB and HNA during Michaelmas term 2022.

Research supervision: 

Research supervisor: Dr Amélie Beaudet

Other Professional Activities

Member of Lucy Cavendish College

Society memberships:

  • Anatomical Association of Southern Africa
  • South African Neuroscience Society

Job Titles

PhD student in Biological Anthropology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Evolution

Contact Details

ejd62 [at]


Person keywords: 
Neuro-anatomy, Brain evolution, Palaeoneurology, Micro-CT, Virtual endocast
Biological Anthropology
Science, Technology and Innovation
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Other Prehistory