Jordi Galbany

Postdoctoral Scientist
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Primate growth and development, life history evolution, feeding ecology, dental ecology and adaptation, tooth morphology, wild primates.

Virunga Volcanoes from Musanze - Karisoke sector

Since August 2013, I am a postdoctoral scientist at the Hard Tissue Biology Lab – Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology. My current research focuses on growth and life history of wild mountain gorillas monitored by the Karisoke Research Center in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. This project will generate data on the dental and somatic growth and development of mountain gorillas based on photogrammetry methods: a non-invasive technique to measure morphological traits from photographs.
Before coming to GWU, I studied Biology at the University of Barcelona, where I completed my Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology on dental microwear patterns in primates, under the direction of Dr. Alejandro Pérez-Pérez. After that, I became a post-doctoral researcher (2007 to 2010) at Duke University, supervised by Dr. Susan C. Alberts, to study tooth morphology and tooth wear in living baboons from Amboseli ecosystem (Kenya). Additionally, in 2012 I started new collaborations in order to study several dental ecology aspects in living mandrills from Lékédi Park (Gabon), and marmots in the Pyrenees (Spain).

Current Research

Mountain gorilla at the Volcanoes National Park

Field photogrammetry of postnatal development in Virunga mountain gorillas


Our last publication...

Galbany J, Abavandimwe D, Vakiener M, Eckardt W, Mudakikwa A, Ndagijimana F, Stoinski TS & McFarlin SC (2017) Body growth in wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) from Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163: 570-590.

Objectives: Great apes show considerable diversity in socioecology and life history, but knowledge of their physical growth in natural settings is scarce. We characterized linear body size growth in wild mountain gorillas from Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, a population distinguished by its extreme folivory and accelerated life histories.
Methods: In 131 individuals (0.09–35.26 years), we used non-invasive parallel laser photogrammetry to measure body length, back width, arm length and two head dimensions. Nonparametric LOESS regression was used to characterize cross-sectional distance and velocity growth curves for males and females, and consider links with key life history milestones.
Results: Sex differences became evident between 8.5 and 10.0 years of age. Thereafter, female growth velocities declined, while males showed increased growth velocities until 10.0–14.5 years across dimensions. Body dimensions varied in growth; females and males reached 98% of maximum body length at 11.7 and 13.1 years, respectively. Females attained 95.3% of maximum body length by mean age at first birth. Neonates were 31% of maternal size, and doubled in size by mean weaning age. Males reached maximum body and arm length and back width before emigration, but experienced continued growth in head dimensions.
Conclusions: While comparable data are scarce, our findings provide preliminary support for the prediction that mountain gorillas reach maximum body size at earlier ages compared to more frugivorous western gorillas. Data from other wild populations are needed to better understand comparative great ape development, and investigate links between trajectories of physical, behavioral, and reproductive maturation.


Body growth mountain gorillas



PostDoc. Hard Tissue Biology Lab (Shannon C. McFarlin). Center for the Anvanced Study of Human Paleobiology. Department of Anthropology. The George Washington University, 2013-current.

PostDoc. Susan Alberts Lab. Department of Biology. Duke University, 2007-2010.

Ph.D. Alejandro Pérez-Pérez Lab. Dental microwear in primates. Universitat de Barcelona, 2006.

M.S. Experimental biology - Animal Biology. Universitat de Barcelona, 2005.

D.E.A. Physical Anthropology. Universitat de Barcelona, 2001.

B.S. Biology. Universitat de Barcelona, 1999.


Main publications

Percher A, Merceron G, Nsi Akoue G, Galbany J, Romero A, Charpentier MJE (2018) Dental Microwear Textural Analysis as an analytical tool to depict individual traits and reconstruct the diet of a primate. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 165: 123-138.

Percher AM, Romero A, Galbany J, Nsi Akoue G, Pérez-Pérez A, Charpentier MJE (2017) Buccal dental-microwear and dietary ecology in a free-ranging population of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) from southern Gabon. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186870.

Galbany J, Abavandimwe D, Vakiener M, Eckardt W, Mudakikwa A, Ndagijimana F, Stoinski TS & McFarlin SC (2017) Body growth in wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) from Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(3): 570-590.

Aliaga-Martínez A, Romero A, Galbany J, Hernández-Aguilar A & Pérez-Pérez A (2017) Buccal dental microwear texture and catarrhine diets. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(3): 462-473.

Pérez-Pérez A, Lozano M, Romero A, Martínez LM, Galbany J, Pinilla B, Estebaranz-Sánchez F, Bermúdez de Castro JM, Carbonell E & Arsuaga JL (2017) The diet of the first Europeans from Atapuerca. Scientific Reports 7: 43319.

Martínez LM, Estebaranz-Sánchez F, Galbany J & Pérez-Pérez A (2016) Testing dietary hypotheses of East African hominines using buccal dental microwear data. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165447.

Nova Delgado M, Galbany J & Pérez-Pérez A (2016) Molar shape variability in platyrrhine primates. Journal of Human Evolution 99: 79-92.

Nova Delgado M, Galbany J & Pérez-Pérez A (2016) Morphometric variation of extant platyrrhine molars: taxonomic implications for fossil platyrrhines. PeerJ 4:e1967.

Gamarra B, Nova Delgado M, Romero A, Galbany J & Pérez-Pérez A (2016) Phylogenetic signal in molar dental shape of extant and fossil catarrhine primates. Journal of Human Evolution 94:13-27.

Galbany J, Stoinski TS, Abavandimwe D, Breuer T, Rutkowski W, Batista NV, Ndagijimana F & McFarlin SC (2016) Validation of two independent photogrammetric techniques for determining body measurements of gorillas. American Journal of Primatology 78: 418-431.

Galbany J, Imanizabayo O, Romero A, Vecellio V, Glowacka H, Cranfield MR, Bromage TG, Mudakikwa A, Stoinski TS & McFarlin SC (2016) Tooth wear and feeding ecology in mountain gorillas from Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159: 457-465.

Nova Delgado M, Galbany J, Górka K & Pérez-Pérez A (2015) Taxonomic implications of molar morphology variability in capuchins. International Journal of Primatology 36:707-727.

Galbany J, Tung J, Altmann J & Alberts SC (2015) Canine size in Amboseli male baboons: maturation, wear and mating success. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126415.

Nova Delgado M, Gamarra B, Nadal J, Mercadal O, Olesti O, Guàrdia J, Pérez-Pérez A & Galbany J (2014) Dental shape variability in cercopithecoid primates: A model for the taxonomic attribution of macaques from roman archaeological contexts. Folia Primatologica 85(6): 361-378.

Galbany J, Romero A, Mayo-Alesón M, Itsoma F, Gamarra B, Pérez-Pérez A, Willaume E, Kappeler PM & Charpentier MJE (2014) Age-Related Tooth Wear Differs between Forest and Savanna Primates. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94938.

Estebaranz F, Galbany J, Martínez LM, Turbón D & Pérez-Pérez A (2012) Buccal dental microwear analyses support greater specialization in consumption of hard foodstuffs for Australopithecus anamensis. Journal of Anthropological Sciences 90: 163-185.

Romero A, Galbany J, De Juan J, Pérez-Pérez A (2012). Brief Communication: Short and long-term in vivo human buccal dental-microwear turnover. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148(3): 467-472.

Galbany J, Altmann J, Pérez-Pérez A & Alberts SC (2011) Age and individual foraging behavior predict tooth wear in Amboseli baboons. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144(1): 51-59.

Galbany J, Dotras L, Alberts SC & Pérez-Pérez A (2010) Tooth size variation related to age in Amboseli baboons. Folia Primatologica 81(6): 348-359.

Altmann J, Gesquiere L, Galbany J, Onyango PO & Alberts SC (2010) The life history context of reproductive aging in a wild primate model. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1204: 127-138.

Estebaranz F, Martínez LM, Galbany J, Turbón D & Pérez-Pérez A (2009) Testing hypotheses of dietary reconstruction from buccal dental microwear in Australopithecus afarensis. Journal of Human Evolution 57: 739-750.

Galbany J, Estebaranz F, Martínez LM & Pérez-Pérez A (2009) Buccal dental microwear variability in extant African Hominoidea primates: taxonomy versus ecology. Primates 50(3): 221-230.

Galbany J, Estebaranz F, Martínez LM, Romero A, De Juan J, Turbón D & Pérez-Pérez A (2006) Comparative analysis of dental enamel polyvinylsiloxane impression and polyurethane casting methods for SEM research. Microscopy Research and Technique 69(4): 246-252.

Galbany J, Martínez LM, López-Amor HM, Espurz V, Hiraldo O, Romero A, De Juan J, Pérez-Pérez A (2005) Error rates in dental buccal microwear quantification using Scanning Electron Microscopy. Scanning 27: 23-29.

Galbany J, Moyà-Sola S & Pérez-Pérez A (2005) Dental microwear variability on buccal tooth enamel surfaces of extant Catarrhini and Miocene fossil Dryopithecus laietanus (Hominoidea). Folia Primatologica 76(6): 325-341.