Tobin Hieronymus, Ph.D.
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- Associate Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology
My research aim is to understand the musculoskeletal anatomy and function of bird wings. Birds have dramatically altered the common components of the forelimb to respond to the functional demands of flight. Within this system, my research addresses three basic questions: (1) what are the morphological adaptations that allow birds to fly so efficiently (or, what can we learn from birds about building wings)? (2) how have birds modified basic tissues such as bone and ligament to adapt to new forms of loading (what can bird bones teach us about biomaterials)? (3) how has the evolution of different avian flight styles and capabilities played out over evolutionary time? My lab addresses these questions using novel techniques that bridge the gap in scale between standard gross anatomy and histology, as well as modeling and analysis approaches that allow us to leverage the diversity of living and fossil birds as a broad pool of natural experiments.
- Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Ohio University, 2009
- M.S. Biology, Montana State University, 2002
- B.A. Biological Sciences, Colorado College, 1997
- Hieronymus, T.L. (2016) Flight feather attachment in rock pigeons (Columba livia): Covert feathers and smooth muscle coordinate a morphing wing. Journal of Anatomy 229:631 – 656.
- Hieronymus, T.L. (2015) Qualitative skeletal correlates of wing shape in extant birds (Aves: Neoaves). BMC Evolutionary Biology.
- Stevens, N.J., E. Seiffert, P.M. O’Connor, E. Roberts, M. Schmitz, C. Krause, E. Gorsack, S. Ngasala, T.L. Hieronymus, and J. Temu (2013) Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes. Nature 497:611–614.
- O’Connor, P.M., J.J.W. Sertich, N.J. Stevens, E.M. Roberts, M.D. Gottfried, T.L. Hieronymus, Z.A. Jinnah, R. Ridgely, S.E. Ngasala, and J. Temba (2010) The evolution of mammal-like crocodyliforms in the Cretaceous Period of Gondwana. Nature 466:748–751.
- Hieronymus, T.L., L.M. Witmer, D. Tanke, and P.J. Currie (2009) The facial integument of centrosaurine ceratopsids: Morphological and histological correlates of novel skin structures. Anatomical Record 292:1370–1396.