Barbara Fischer

Elise Richter Fellow, Researcher, Data Scientist

University of Vienna


I am an evolutionary biologist and data scientist with a background in mathematics and theoretical biology. My research focuses on the evolution of birth in humans. I am an Elise Richter fellow at the Unit of Theoretical Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology of the University of Vienna, Austria. In addition to my research, I consider teaching and communicating science important parts of my work. I enjoy giving popular science talks as well as writing articles for a general audience and I have authored a textbook for high school biology.


  • Evolutionary Medicine
  • Biostatistics and Data Science
  • Science Communication


  • PhD in Ecology and Evolution, 2010

    Department of Biology, University of Berne, Switzerland

  • MSc in Biomathematics, 2006

    Faculty of Mathematics, University of Vienna

Recent Publications

Sex differences in the pelvis did not evolve de novo in modern humans

It is commonly assumed that the strong sexual dimorphism of the human pelvis evolved for delivering the relatively large human …

We Should Abandon “Race” as a Biological Category in Biomedical Research

In 2019, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists issued a statement on biological aspects of race, concluding that “pure …

Humans as inverted bats: A comparative approach to the obstetric conundrum

Objectives: The narrow human birth canal evolved in response to multiple opposing selective forces on the pelvis. These factors cannot …

Allometry and sexual dimorphism in the human pelvis

Sexual dimorphism in the human pelvis has evolved in response to several jointly acting selection regimes that result from the pelvis’ …


Barbara Fischer at KLI

Barbara Fischer at KLI2

Press Coverage

My research has been featured by the international and national press, including many notable publishing outlets. Below is a selection of some articles covering my work.

Recent & Upcoming Talks


2020-2021 academic year (2020W):

300357 UE Mathematical Basics for Quantitative Biology

earlier teaching at the University of Vienna


  • b.fischer@univie.ac.at
  • Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria
  • Spange 4, Ebene 2, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Unit for Theoretical Biology