Christine Elizabeth Wall

Christine Elizabeth Wall

Research Professor Emerita of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
Room 206B Biological Sciences Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708-0383
(919) 668-2543


The focus of my work is the functional and evolutionary anatomy of the head, with an emphasis on how the feeding apparatus works and how it influences and is influenced by other structures and functions. My research focuses primarily on the functional anatomy of extant and extinct primates, but I am also interested in other mammalian groups.

Current research projects include:

(1) a detailed study of the architecture, fiber types, and the recruitment patterns of the jaw adductor muscles of priamtes. The goals are to determine the nature of the general relationship between architecture (e.g., cross-sectional area) and fiber type for the jaw adductors, to find out whether the jaw adductors are sexually dimorphic in these anthropoid primates, to test for co-variation with dietary adaptation, and to develop biomechanical models to describe this relationship and relate it to size, function, and energetic requirements;

(2) investigations of the energetic costs of feeding behaviors in humans and nonhuman primates. The goal of this work is to better understand the relationship between the functional anatomy of the feeding apparatus and the metabolic costs that an animal incurs during feeding.

(3) development of a public database - the Feeding Experiments End-user Database (FEED, in collaboration with Dr. Rebecca German (Johns Hopkins), Dr. Susan Williams (Ohio Univ.), Dr. Chris Vinyard (NEOUCOM), and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. This database includes physiological data from a large number of mammalian species collected by numerous researchers. Its design will allow synthetic and integrative analyses of the evolution of the oropharyngeal apparatus and feeding behaviors in mammals. The public instance of FEED is available at  We are also developing new analytical tools for inter-specific comparisons of raw electromyographic recordings that can be used to process data in FEED.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook 1995

  • M.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook 1992

Wall, CE, Briggs, MM, Huq, E, Hylander, WL, and Schachat, F. "Regional variation in IIM myosin heavy chain expression in the temporalis muscle of female and male baboons (Papio anubis)." Archives of Oral Biology 58.4 (2013): 435-443. Full Text

Wall, CE, Vinyard, CJ, Williams, SH, Gapeyev, V, Liu, X, Lapp, H, and German, RZ. "Overview of FEED, the feeding experiments end-user database." Integrative and Comparative Biology 51.2 (August 2011): 215-223. (Review) Full Text Open Access Copy

Hylander, WL, Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, Williams, SH, and Johnson, KR. "Functional and evolutionary significance of the recruitment and firing patterns of the jaw adductors during chewing in Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 145.4 (August 2011): 531-547. Full Text

Williams, SH, Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, Doherty, AH, Crompton, AW, and Hylander, WL. "A preliminary analysis of correlated evolution in Mammalian chewing motor patterns." Integrative and Comparative Biology 51.2 (August 2011): 247-259. Full Text

Vinyard, CJ, Williams, SH, Wall, CE, Doherty, AH, Crompton, AW, and Hylander, WL. "A preliminary analysis of correlations between chewing motor patterns and mandibular morphology across mammals." Integrative and Comparative Biology 51.2 (August 2011): 260-270. Full Text

Babbitt, CC, Warner, LR, Fedrigo, O, Wall, CE, and Wray, GA. "Genomic signatures of diet-related shifts during human origins." Proceedings. Biological Sciences 278.1708 (April 2011): 961-969. (Review) Full Text

Perry, JMG, Hartstone-Rose, A, and Wall, CE. "The jaw adductors of strepsirrhines in relation to body size, diet, and ingested food size." Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) 294.4 (April 2011): 712-728. Full Text

Fedrigo, O, Pfefferle, AD, Babbitt, CC, Haygood, R, Wall, CE, and Wray, GA. "A potential role for glucose transporters in the evolution of human brain size." Brain, Behavior and Evolution 78.4 (January 2011): 315-326. Full Text

Williams, SH, Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, Crompton, AW, and Hylander, WL. "Patterns of jaw-muscle recruitment evolution in mammals." Integrative and Comparative Biology 51.2 (2011): 247-259.

Vinyard, CJ, Doherty, AH, Wall, CE, Williams, SH, Ross, CF, Herring, SW, and Crompton, AW. "Patterns of functional integration in the mammalian masticatory apparatus." Integrative and Comparative Biology 51.2 (2011): 260-272.