Christine Elizabeth Wall

Christine Elizabeth Wall

Research Professor in the Department 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

MacLean, EL, Barrickman, NL, Johnson, EM, and Wall, CE. "Sociality, ecology, and relative brain size in lemurs." J Hum Evol 56.5 (May 2009): 471-478. Full Text

Williams, SH, Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, and Hylander, WL. "In vivo bone strain in the mandibular corpus of selenodont artiodactyls." Journal of Anatomy 214 (2009): 65-78.

Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, Williams, SH, and Hylander, WL. "Patterns of variation across primates in jaw-muscle electromyography during mastication." Integr Comp Biol 48.2 (August 2008): 294-311. Full Text

Vinyard, CJ, Ravosa, MJ, Williams, SH, Wall, CE, Johnson, KR, and Hylander, WL. "Jaw-muscle function and the origin of primates." (December 1, 2007): 179-231. (Chapter) Full Text

Williams, SH, Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, and Hylander, WL. "Masticatory motor patterns in ungulates: A quantitative assessment of jaw-muscle coordination in goats, alpacas and horses." Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology 307.4 (2007): 226-240. Full Text

Vinyard, CJ, Wall, CE, Williams, SH, Johnson, KR, and Hylander, WL. "Masseter electromyography during chewing in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)." Am J Phys Anthropol 130.1 (May 2006): 85-95. Full Text

Wall, CE, Vinyard, CJ, Johnson, KR, Williams, SH, and Hylander, WL. "Phase II jaw movements and masseter muscle activity during chewing in Papio anubis." Am J Phys Anthropol 129.2 (February 2006): 215-224. Full Text

Wall, CE, Vinyard, CJ, Williams, SH, Johnson, KR, and Hylander, WL. "Phase II occlusion in relation to jaw movement and masseter muscle recruitment during chewing in Papio anubis. (Accepted)" American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2006). (Academic Article)

Hylander, WL, Wall, CE, Vinyard, CJ, Ross, C, Ravosa, MR, Williams, SH, and Johnson, KR. "Temporalis function in anthropoids and strepsirrhines: an EMG study." Am J Phys Anthropol 128.1 (September 2005): 35-56. Full Text