Catching Up with Alan Walker

Sara Brennen
November 10, 2009

How did you first become interested in your specialty?

I have been a paleontologist from the age of 11 after finding fossils near my home.

What is the most exciting or fascinating part of your job?

I undertake detective work to find out how extinct animals lived.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Penn State?

I can teach my own research field rather than teach medical students human anatomy.

Where do you see your field 10 years from now?

I hope that African museums will have the facilities we have here for x-ray imaging—if they did anyone could study fossils without going there.

When you're not working, how do you spend your free time?

Reading biographies, making jewelry, and going to our house on Little Cayman.

Recent Publications

Walker, A., Ryan, T.M., Silcox, M.T., Spoor, F., and Simons, E. (2008) The semicircular canal system and locomotion: the case of extinct lemuroids and lorisoids. Evolutionary Anthropology 17:135-145.

Silcox, M.T., Bloch, J.I., Boyer, D.M., Godinot, M., Ryan, T.M., Spoor, F., & Walker, A. (2008) Semicircular canal system in early primates and euprimates. J. Hum. Evol. 56: 315-327

Scott, J.R., Ungar, P.S., Jungers, W.L., Godfrey, L.R., Scott, R.S., Simons, E.L., Teaford, M.F., Walker, A. (2008) Dental microwear texture analysis of two families of subfossil lemurs from Madagascar. J. Hum. Evol. 56:405-416.

Ryan, T.M., Burney, D.A., Godfrey, L.R., Golich, U.B., Jungers, W.L., Vasey, N., Ramilisonina, Walker ,A., and Weber, G. (2008) A reconstruction of the Vienna skull of Hadropithecus stenognathus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105:10699-10702.

Walker, A. (2009) The strength of apes and the speed of humans. Current Anthropology 50:229-234.


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Last Updated November 10, 2009