Brianna McHorse

Brianna McHorse

PhD - graduated May 2019
Brianna McHorse

Brianna is interested in combining macroevolutionary and biomechanical approaches to study animal locomotion in extinct and extant animals. Her dissertation research focuses on evolutionary digit reduction in fossil horses. This project draws on a variety of methods, including comparative phylogenetics, finite element modeling, and kinetics and kinematics. More information on this project and her past work can be found on her personal webpage. Brianna will be working as a data scientist in industry after graduating.



Parker, A.K.*, B.K. McHorse*, and S.E. Pierce. Niche modeling reveals lack of habitat partitioning in extinct horses of North America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 511: 103-118. (* Authors contributed equally.)

Heintzman, P. D., G. D. Zazula, R. D. E. MacPhee, E. Scott, J. A. Cahill, B. K. McHorse, J. D. Kapp, M. Stiller, M. J. Wooller, L. Orlando, J. R. Southon, D. G. Froese, and B. Shapiro. 2017. A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America. eLife 6: e29944.

Emery, M.M., B.K. McHorse, and E.B. Davis. 2017. Spatially explicit analysis sheds new light on the Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction in North America. Paleobiology. DOI:

McHorse, B.K., A.A. Biewener, and S.E. Pierce. 2017. Mechanics of evolutionary digit reduction in fossil horses (Equidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20171174. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1174.

McHorse, B. K., E. B. Davis, E. Scott, and D. L. Jenkins. 2016. What species of horse was coeval with North America's earliest humans in the Paisley Caves? Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1214595.

Sertich, J.J.W., R.K. Stucky, H.G. McDonald, C. Newton, D.C. Fisher, E. Scott, J.R. Demboski, C. Lucking, B.K. McHorse, and E.B. Davis. 2014. High-elevation late Pleistocene (MIS 6–5) vertebrate faunas from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado. Quaternary Research82(3): 504–517.

Davis, E.B. and B.K. McHorse. 2013. A method for improved identification of postcrania from mammalian fossil assemblages: multivariate discriminant analysis of camelid astragali.Palaeontologia Electronica 16(3): 27A, 15p.

McHorse, B.K., J.D. Orcutt, and E.B. Davis. 2012. The carnivoran fauna of Rancho La Brea: average or aberrantPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 329–330:118–123.


Contact Information

Museum of Comparative Zoology
Room 103A
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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