ABIGAIL A. CURTIS, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Biology
University of Washington, Seattle
Seattle, WA 98195-1800
Mammal skulls come in many different shapes and sizes. These differences are related to how different species use their skulls, as well as their evolutionary history. I am interested in understanding patterns in the evolution of skull shape in mammals and how this relates to diet, ecology, behavior, and phylogeny. For my present work as Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Santana Lab at The University of Washington, Seattle, I am using high-resolution micro-CT scans to study how diet has influenced skull shape and jaw muscle evolution in mammals. My work primarily focuses on bats, but also explores skull shape and jaw muscle evolution in carnivores and primates. My previous work has focused on paranasal sinus and turbinal anatomy and function in bats and carnivores (cats, dogs, hyenas, and kin). I employ a variety of methods ranging from linear morphometrics to 2D and 3D morphometric techniques, and phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate my research questions. I am also interested in using my research to develop outreach tools for educators and the general public.