My primary research interests focus on marine tetrapods and the astounding morphological changes that are required for aquatic locomotion in taxa that have a terrestrial ancestry. Marine mammals are a great study system for this line of questioning because they have invaded a marine habitat in four extant lineages. I use both physical museum specimens and cranial CT scans for my work. Currently I am looking at the neck in pinnipeds to see if there are any functional differences in this region of the spine as a result of their aquatic lifestyle. There is a huge amount of variation in both the amount of neck muscle attachment to the cranium and position of the insertion points for these muscle groups. This variation has functional implications of feeding and locomotion under water. My goal is to tease apart these functional differences and tie it to the taxa’s ecology.
Honors and Awards
Departmental Honors (BS) : 2014
2014 University of California, Los Angeles BS Marine Biology