Animal Locomotion Lab

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Christine E. Wall

Christine E. Wall

The major goal of my work is to contribute to our understanding of the functional and evolutionary anatomy of the cranium, with an emphasis on the feeding apparatus works and how it influences and is influenced by other structures and functions of the cranium. My research focuses primarily on the functional anatomy of the feeding apparatus of extant and extinct primates, but I am also interested in other mammalian groups.

Current research projects include:

(1) a detailed study of both the recruitment patterns and the fiber types of the jaw adductor muscles of macaques and baboons. The goals are to determine the nature of the general relationship between recruitment pattern and fiber type for the jaw adductors, to find out whether the jaw adductors are sexually dimorphic in these anthropoid primates, and if so, to develop a biomechanical model to describe this relationship and relate it to both size and function;

(2) a collaboration with Bill Hylander and Kirk Johnson to investigate the functional anatomy of the chewing muscles in anthropoid primates, particularly the relation between gross fiber architecture, recruitment patterns, and jaw movements during chewing;

(3) study of the functional anatomy of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in primates and other mammals, and

(4) investigation of the influence of size on kinematic and kinetic parameters of chewing.