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Lecturer of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Primary Office: 1-B046 A MLIowa City, IA 52242
BA, Anthropology, University of CaliforniaMS, Basic Health Sciences, Stony Brook UniversityPhD, Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University
My research focuses on the evolution of the semicircular canals in birds, nonavian dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and bats, using computed tomography and other medical imaging techniques to assess functional morphology. The size, shape, and planar orientation of the canals show attunements to preferred planes of movement, and correlate strongly with degree of locomotor maneuverability. This provides unique insight into the pattern of neurosensory adaptation associated with adoption of volant behaviors among primitive fliers, compared with non-volant antecedents and secondarily flightless species. Collaborative work on nonavian dinosaurs is helping to differentiate bipedality from quadrupedality at the neural level.
Recently, I have begun investigating vestibular and neurocognitive dysfunction in human athletes suffering from traumatic brain injury. This is leading to the development of a collaborative research program at UI, aimed at using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine axonal twisting and shearing post-concussion in injured athletes. The goal is to better understand how structural and neurometabolic damage resulting from collision produces behavioral dysfunction, and to promote multidimensional approaches to concussion assessment and management.
Turning Semicircular Canal Function on Its Head: Dinosaurs and a Novel Vestibular Analysis.
The semicircular canals of birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
2007. Suppl. 27:147.
The Bony Labyrinth of Isisaurus colberti (Sauropoda: Saurischia) and the Evolution of the Sauropod Inner Ear.
Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 -
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