Dr. Gabriela Sobral




+49 (0) 711 / 8936-179
+49 (0) 711 / 8936-100

Research Profile

I am interested in vertebrate anatomy, development, evolution, and phylogenetic relationships with special focus on the braincase of basal diapsids and archosaurs. I have experience with CT scans of fossils and extant vertebrate material, including iodine-stained samples (DICE-CT), as well as with phylogenetic methods.

I am currently working with Dr. Rainer Schoch in the DFG-funded project “New reptiles of the Middle Triassic of Germany”, aiming to identify and describe new findings from vertebrate-fossillagerstätten from Baden-Württemberg, their phylogenetic relationships, and implications for basal diapsid evolution and subsequent diversity.



  • Müller J, Bickelmann C, Sobral G. The Evolution and fossil history of sensory perception in amniote vertebrates. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 46:495 – 519.


  • Sobral G, Müller J. 2016. Archosaurs and their kin: the ruling reptiles. In: Clack JA, Ray RR & Popper AN (eds). Evolution of the vertebrate ear – evidence from the fossil record. Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, volume 59, pp. 285 – 326. Springer International Publishing AG, Switzerland. ISSN 0947-2657, eISSN 2197-1897
  • Sobral G, Reisz RR, Scheyer T, Neenan J, Müller J. 2016. Basal reptilians, marine diapsids, and turtles: the flowering of reptile diversity. In: Clack JA, Ray RR & Popper AN (eds). Evolution of the vertebrate ear – evidence from the fossil record. Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, volume 59, pp. 207 – 243. Springer International Publishing AG, Switzerland.
  • Sobral G, Sookias RB, Bhullar B-AS, Smith R, Butler RJ, Müller J. 2016. New information on the braincase and inner ear of Euparkeria capensis Broom: implications for diapsid and archosaur evolution. Royal Society Open Science 3: 160072. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160072


  • Sobral G, Sues HD, Müller J. 2015. Anatomy of the enigmatic reptile Elachistosuchus huenei Janensch, 1949 (Reptilia: Diapsida) from the Upper Triassic of Germany and its relevance for the origin of Sauria. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0135114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135114
  • Butler RJ, Ezcurra MD, Montefeltro FC, Samathi A, Sobral G. 2015. A new species of basal rhynchosaur (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha) from the early Middle Triassic of South Africa, and the origin and early evolution of Rhynchosauria. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 174:571 – 588.


  • Witzmann F, Rothschild BM, Hampe O, Sobral G, Gubin YM, Asbach P. 2014. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, 43: 90 – 102.


  • Tsuji LA, Sobral G, Müller J. 2013. Ruhuhueria reiszi, a new procolophonoid reptile from the Triassic Ruhuhu basin of Tanzania. Comptes Rendus Palevol, DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2013.08.002.


  • Sobral G, Hipsley CA, Müller J. 2012. Braincase redescription of Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) based on Computed Tomography. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32:1090 – 1102.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Associate Professor, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brasilien; Courses: Vertebrate Zoology (Biology); Introduction to Zoology (Aquiculture)


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ), Brasilien; Project: Braincases of pterosaurs



  • PhD in Biology (Palaeontology) at the Humboldt–Universität zu Berlin (HUB) and Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN), Germany. Thesis title: "The Evolutionary Origin of Impedance-matching Hearing in Archosauria."


  • Masters in Comparative Biology at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil. Dissertation title: "Comparative Analysis of Total Evidence and Taxonomic Congruence in the Study of Two Groups of Fossil Reptiles."


  • Bachelor Degree in Biology (Zoology) at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro (MNRJ), Brazil. Monograph title: "Construction of a supertree for Coelurosauria (Dinosauria, Theropoda) by the method of Matrix Representation with Parsimony – MRP."

Work Experience


  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (MZ-USP), Brasilien; Project: Development of the braincase in crocodylians.

Grants & Awards



  • Aid for Participation in Scientific Meeting, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Brazil)


  • Doris O. and Samuel P. Welles Research Fun, University of California Museum of Paleontology (USA)
  • Postgraduate Travel Fund, The Palaeontological Association (UK)


  • SYNTHESIS (European Union)
  • The Jackson School of Geosciences Student Member Travel Gran, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (USA)



  • Taylor & Francis Award for Best Student Article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Professional Service

2018 – Present

  • Panel Chair, Colbert Prize for Best Student Poster, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Scientific Communication and Public Outreach

2016 – Present

  • Dragões de Garagem (Podcast in Portuguese), Production Team