News

Turtles traversing an adaptive landscape

May 2, 2019

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.

Dickson, D.V., and S.E. Pierce. 2019....

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Dr. McHorse!!!

April 24, 2019

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!!!

Brianna defense

Croc skulls evolved via developmental shifts

February 20, 2019

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. “...

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Knuckles is the best sonic character

December 10, 2018

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:...

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Breaking up the mammal back

September 22, 2018

Massive congratulations to Katrina Jones for publishing her three year - big data - study on the evolution of mammalian backbone regionalization in Science!

Jones, K. E., K.D. Angielczyk, P.D. Polly, J.J. Head, V. Fernandez, J.K Lungmus, S. Tulga, and S.E. Pierce. “Fossils reveal the complex evolutionary history of the mammalian regionalized spine” Science 361, no. 6408 (2018): 1249-1252. 

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Niche overlap in extinct horses

August 28, 2018

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. “...

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Prized Sophie

June 27, 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!

Sophie and echidna

Bend it like Sarah!

April 13, 2018

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.

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