German Natural Science Association for Schleswig-Holstein

The German Natural Science Association for Schleswig-Holstein ( Naturwissenschaftliche Verein für Schleswig-Holstein e. V., NWVSH) offers a diverse program of lectures and field trips for its members and other interested persons. As part of the lecture series in the winter term 2023/24, Prof. Dr. Christine Böhmer gave an oral presentation on the research of her working group with a special focus on the vertebral column.

The vertebral column is a vital element in the body of all vertebrates. Although its basic functions (body support and protection of the neural chord) has remained the same, an enormous variety of forms has evolved over time. What are the underlying evolutionary processes and how are form and function linked to each other?

The lectures take place in the computer museum (Computermuseum der Fachhochschule Kiel). The museum is absolutely worth a visit. Cou can experience the history of computer development on around 800m². The museum claims to be the third largest computer museum in Germany. It is also architecturally unique, as it is housed in a bunker from the Second World War.

Many thanks to the chairman of the NWVSH PD Dr. Ulrich Schmölke for the invitation and to Dr. Bernd Brandes-Druba (NWVSH office and membership administration). A huge thank you also to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Acker (Fachhochschule Kiel) for the highly interesting and entertaining tour of the computer museum.



Böhmer C (2020). Der Hals als Bioinspiration für technische Innovationen [The neck as bioinspiration for technical innovations]. in Werneburg I and Betz O. Phylogenie, Funktionsmorphologie und Bionik. Texte zum 60. Phylogenetischen Symposium in Tübingen. xx pp, ISBN 978-3-947020-xx-x, Scidinge Hall Verlag Tübingen.

Böhmer C, Amson, E, Arnold P, van Heteren A H and Nyakatura J (2018) Homeotic transformations reflect departure from the mammalian ‘rule of seven’ cervical vertebrae in sloths: inference on the Hox code and morphological modularity of the mammalian neck. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18: 84. DOI: 10.1186/s12862-018-1202-5

Böhmer C and Buchholtz E (2021) Editorial – The axial skeleton: Diversity, patterning, and function. Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12927

Böhmer C, Plateau O*, Cornette R and Abourachid A (2019) Correlated evolution of neck length and leg length in birds. Royal Society Open Science 6: 181588. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181588.

Böhmer C, Prevoteau J*, Duriez O and Abourachid A (2020) Gulper, ripper and scrapper: anatomy of the neck in three species of vultures. Journal of Anatomy 236 (4): 701-723. DOI: 10.1111/joa.13129.

Böhmer C, Rauhut OWM and Wörheide G (2015). New insights into the vertebral Hox code of archosaurs. Evolution & Development 17 (5): 258-269. DOI: 10.1111/ede.12136 

Böhmer C, Rauhut OWM and Wörheide G (2015). Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 20150077. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0077

Böhmer C and Werneburg I (2017). Deep time perspective on turtle neck evolution: chasing the Hox code by vertebral morphology. Scientific Reports 7: 8939. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09133-0

Furet M, Abourachid A, Böhmer C, Chummun V, Chevallerau C, Cornette R, De La Bernardie X and Wenger P (2021) Estimating motion between avian vertebrae by contact modeling of joint surfaces. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering. DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2021.1934676

Müller M A, Merten L, Böhmer C and Nyakatura J A (2021). Pushing the boundary? Testing the ‚functional elongation hypothesis‘ in the giraffe’s neck. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.14171

Wintrich T, Scaal M, Böhmer C, Schellhorn R, Kogan I, van der Reest A and Sander M (2020) Paleontological evidence reveals convergent evolution of intervertebral joint types in amniotes. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70751-2.

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