Blake Dickson's fabulous work on turtle humeri adpative landscapes is now out in Evolution! The research aimed to investiage whether or not the shape of humeri reflect functional trade-offs of living and moving in different environemnts. The answer: YES! Blake performed a truely integrative study that combined 3D shape analysis, with finite element modeling and adaptive landscapes. The work provides a significant advancement on building morpho-functional adaptive landscapes that is sure to stimulate lots of follow-on work.
Super excited to announce that Brianna successfully defended her PhD dissertation today! She wowed the department with - yet another - amazing presention on her research which explored evolutionary digit reduction in horses. Congrats Dr. McHorse!!!
Proud to announce that Zach Morris has published the first chapter of his thesis research! Zach quantified skull shape development across all species of living crocodilians - from embryos to adults. He showed that by tinkering with their developmental strategies, crocodiles have been able to evolve all major ecomorph morphologies - from blunt and wide snouts to long and narrow.
Morris, Z.S., K.A. Vliet, A. Abzhanov, and S.E. Pierce. 2019. “...
Back in November, echidna specialist extraordinare Sophie Regnault published the first installment of an NSF funded project on mammal forelimb evolution:
Regnault and Pierce (2018). Pectoral girdle and forelimb musculoskeletal function in the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus): insights into mammalian locomotor evolution. Royal Society Open Science, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181400
The work was highlighted in the Harvard Gazette:...
Pierce lab alumna Abba Parker ('17) has published her amazing undergraduate senior thesis! Along with Brianna McHorse, Abba was able to quantitatively show that extinct horses of North America did not partition habitat based on trait state (e.g. body size, digit reduction, tooth crown height). Very proud of both Abba and Brianna on this great piece of research!
Parker, Abigail K., Brianna K. McHorse, and Stephanie E. Pierce. 2018. “...
Congrulations to Sophie for winning 2nd prize at the Harvard Postdoc Symposium! Sophie did an amazing job explaining her science to a very broad audience and her echidna poster was fantastic. Way to go, Sophie!
Very excited to announce that the Pierce lab has activated its second NSF grant! The project is a collaborative effort with Ken Angielczyk at the Field Museum and aims to reconstruct forelimb evolution in Synapsida.
Big congratulations to undergraduate student Sarah Gonzalez for finishing her stellar senior thesis! Sarah dissected and bent the backbones of numerous cats to untangle the relationship between morphology and function. Very proud of her accomplishments! Sarah will return this summer to apply similar techniques to reptiles.