Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Visiting Scientist Feature: Mr. Halmi Insani

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Visiting Scientist Feature: Mr. Halmi Insani

Last week, we hosted Mr. Halmi Insani, a PhD student at Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute.

Halmi is working on identifying all non-human primates (living and fossilised) in Southeast Asia, as part of his thesis on the evolution and adaptation of primates.

One of the primate fossils to be identified was excavated from Java, Indonesia in the 1930s by German-Dutch palaeontologist Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald. The fossil dated to be about 700,000 years old is currently residing in the Geological Museum, Indonesia, where Halmi is a curator of vertebrates.

During his visit here, he examined primate skulls in the Zoological Reference Collection (ZRC) using a treasure trove of tools that weighed a total of 20 kg.

The tools included a microscribe to take landmark data from key points of the primate skulls, in order to construct an accurate 3D computer model for analysis.

Halmi also brought along special equipment made in Japan to make rubber-silicon molds of the adult primate fossils’ third lower molar.

We wish him all the best for his research, and hope to see him again!