Dr. Michelle Osborn
Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS)
veterinary anatomy, comparative vertebrate anatomy, histology, zoology, evolution
We apply the principles of functional and evolutionary morphology to the study of complex structural systems of model organisms to answer causal, “how?” questions and evolutionary, “why?” questions. This involves natural experiments to test specific hypotheses. For example, we study the head-neck-shoulder apparatus as an example of a complex system in various vertebrates (e.g., the bipedal human; the quadrupedal cat, dog, and horse; and the tetrapodal salamander) to understand its function in each animal and to reconstruct its evolutionary history. We also study pathomechanical postures and movements of the skeletomuscular system in various vertebrates that may be related to tissue degeneration. We use an eclectic set of techniques (e.g., biometrics, statistics, gross and micro-dissection, histology, force analysis, imaging and animation in 2D and 3D) and collaborate with other anatomists, biologists, clinicians, computer scientists, mathematicians, theoretical and medical physicists, and philosophers of science.