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Research Projects

My research interests are with the Xenarthra, which consists (most obviously) with sloths, as well as anteaters and armadillos. Of those, anteaters and sloths are the more closely related groups and are united under the Order Pilosa. Order Cingulata, which is a sister group to Pilosa, is filled with the living and extinct armadillos, and the extinct pampatheres and glyptodonts.

Primary research aims are investigating how these past animals lived through exploration of their functional anatomy. With living taxa, that involves anatomical dissections. For extinct taxa, understanding the data gained through dissections of the modern forms is essential and directly applicable to reconstructing muscles that would have existed on the various protrusions and scars on the bones. How changes in those attachments via changes in the shape of the bones and their processes effected movement gives rise to functional morphology. The more specific project pages highlight on-going research that is highly influenced by these principles.