I’m a biological anthropologist with interests in human evolution, anatomy and movement. I study the interaction between musculoskeletal variation and locomotion using a combination of experimental biomechanics and medical imaging to develop hypotheses about how anatomy affects performance in both living humans and extinct hominins.
I received my PhD in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis where my research focused on the relationship between pelvic shape, muscle function and the energetic cost of walking and running. The purpose of my study was to provide empirical evidence to evaluate one of the claims of the “obstetrical dilemma” that the female pelvis represents a natural selection trade-off between efficient locomotion and the demands of birthing large brained infants. I also addressed the effect of differences in pelvic shape on hip abductor mechanics and locomotor cost in extinct hominin taxa.
Currently, I’m a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Harvard, where I am continuing to study the interaction between body shape and individual kinematics in the control of frontal plane balance of the body during walking and running. Additionally, I’m involved in several other projects on foot mechanics and running injury. I teach courses in experimental biomechanics and human locomotion and advise undergraduate thesis writers. At home, I expend significant locomotor energy chasing my three adorable children.