Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology

Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory

Stephanie is a Temporary Lecturer in Evolutionary Biomechanics examining the locomotion potential of early tetrapods.

Stephanie also holds a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Havard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Stephanie graduated with an Honours in Palaeontology BSc degree from the University of Alberta, Canada. Directly following this, she pursued an MSc degree by research in Systematics and Evolution at the University of Alberta studying the anatomy and evolutionary relationships of extinct marine lizards. Her love of vertebrate evolution brought her to the University of Bristol, UK where she embarked on a PhD degree which focused on assessing the interplay between skull shape variation and biomechanical performance in extant and extinct crocodiles.

Stephanie's scholarly interests are focused on assessing the link between form and function of the vertebrate skeletal system – especially with respect to muscle/skeletal interactions during feeding and locomotor behaviours in modern and extinct animals. 

Stephanie has primarily been working on unravelling the locomotion potential of the earliest limbed vertebrates in collaboration with Prof Jenny Clack in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge and Dr John Hutchinson at the Royal Veterinary College. Together they are virtually reconstructing the anatomy and locomotion of early tetrapods (e.g. Acanthostega, Ichthyostega) and modern analogues (e.g. seals, crocodiles) to infer how axial and appendicular musculoskeletal function evolved with the transition from water to land.

Other projects underway with various collaborators include such things as: scaling crocodile jaw muscles and skull stress/strain through ontogeny and across species; virtually reconstructing the brain, sinuses and vestibular system of extinct crocodiles and plesiosaurs; examining the relationship between lower jaw shape, function and disparity through the crocodile lineage; mapping developmental morpho/skeletogenesis in crocodiles; and uncovering how evolutionary changes in vertebral shape affect biomechanical performance.


Palaeo/Zoology Publications

Technical Publications


Educational Publications Profile 

ResearchGate Profile

Current courses:

Evolution Module Leader -  Veterinary Gateway Programme (Term 1)

Past courses:

2012-2013: Introduction to walking, running and animal scaling  - Comparative Animal Locomotion BSc yr3

2012-2013: Introduction to evolution - BVetMed yr1

Top of page