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

Jungers, WL, Falsetti, AB, and Wall, CE. "Shape, relative size, and size-adjustments in morphometrics." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 38.S21 (1995): 137-161. Full Text

Wall, CE, Larson, SG, and Jr, JTS. "EMG of the digastric muscle in gibbon and orangutan: Functional consequences of the loss of the anterior digastric in orangutans." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 94.4 (1994): 549-567. Full Text

Krause, DW, Hartman, JH, Wells, NA, Buckley, GA, Lockwood, CH, Wall, CE, Wunderlich, RE, Rabarison, JA, and Randriamiaramanana, LL. "Cretaceous mammal from Madagascar." Nature 368 (1994): 298-. (Academic Article)

Wall, CE, and Krause, DW. "A biomechanical analysis of the masticatory apparatus of Ptilodus (Multituberculata)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 12.2 (1992): 172-187.

Wall, CE. "Evidence of weaning stress in the long bones of a Central California Amerindian sample." Annals of Human Biology 18 (1991): 9-22. (Academic Article)

Druzinsky, RED, Lapp, H, Crompton, AW, Herrel, A, Herring, SW, Mungall, C, Mabee, P, German, RZ, Vunyard, CJ, Williams, SH, and Wall, CE. "The Mammalian Feeding Muscle Ontology: an anatomy ontology for oral/pharyngeal structures (In preparation)." PloS one.

Dumont, M, Wall, CE, Goswami, A, Peigné, S, and Fabre, AC. "Do constraints associated with locomotor habitat, diet, and activity pattern drive skull shape evolution in musteloid carnivorans? (In preparation)." Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society.