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Thierra K. Nalley, PhD

Assistant Professor of Anatomy
Gross Anatomy Lab Director

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

E-Mail: tnalley@westernu.edu

Phone: 3516

Join year: 2016

Education

Ph.D., School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2013

M.A., School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2008

B.A., Dept of Anthropoloy, University of Missouri-Columbia, MO, 2003

Education Experience

Research Fellow, Dept. of Vertebrate Zoology and Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA 2015-2016

Hearst Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Vertebrate Zoology and Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, 2014-2015

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medical Anatomical Sciences, COMP,Western University of Health Sciences, 2016-present

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Il, 2015-2016

Courses

Medical Gross Anatomy Lecture and Lab, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Structure and Function I & II, College of Health Sciences

Head and Neck Anatomy, College of Dental Medicine

Research Interest

My principal research interests focus on the biomechanics of primate locomotion, specifically the relationships among the vertebral column, skull, and the pectoral girdle. Using comparative morphology and locomotor modeling, my research investigates the evolution of bipedality in the human lineage, as well as the historical patterns of positional behavior in living and fossil apes. Other research interests include examining musculoskeletal plasticity in the vertebral column and how behavior and ontogeny influence adult morphologies at both the microscopic and gross levels.

Research Grant

Western University of Health Sciences Seed Grant ($5000), 2018

The Leakey Foundation General Grant ($17,475), 2015

SHESC Dissertation Completion Grant ($7000), 2013

ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association Research Grant ($972), 2012

Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Dissertation Fieldwork Grant ($18,030), 2011

Publications

Recent Publications

Nalley TK, Grider-Potter N. Vertebral morphology in relation to posture and locomotion I: The cervical spine. 2019. In: Been E, Kramer, P (eds): Spinal Evolution: morphology, function, and pathology of the spine in hominoid evolution. Springer: Nature. London.

Nalley TK, Scott JE, Ward CV, Alemseged Z. Comparative Morphology and Ontogeny of the Thoracolumbar Transition in Great Apes, Humans and Fossil Hominins. 2019. Journal of Human Evolution. 134: 102637

Williams SA, Meyer MR, Nalla S, Garcia-Martinez D, Nalley TK, Eyre J, Prang TC, Bastir M, Schmid P, Churchill SE, Berger LR. 2018. The Vertebrae, Ribs and Sternum of Australopithecus sediba. PaleoAnthropology:156-233.

Ward CV, Nalley TK, Spoor F, Tafforeau P, Alemseged Z. 2017. Thoracic Vertebral Count and Thoracolumbar Transition on Australopithecus afarensis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun 6;114(23):6000-6004. DOI: 10.10073/pnas.1702229114.

Nalley TK, Grider-Potter N. 2017. Functional analyses of the primate upper cervical vertebral column. J Hum Evol. 2017. Jun:107:19-35. doi 10.1016/jhevol.2017.03.010.

Nalley TK, Grider-Potter N. 2015. Cervical vertebrae morphology and its relationships to head and neck posture in primates. Am J Phy Anthropol 156 (4), p 531-542.

Nalley TK, Lewton KL. 2015. From the Ground Up: Integrative Research in Primate Locomotion. Am J Phy Anthropol 156 (4), p 495-497.