John David Polk PhD
- Biomechanics of locomotion
- Exercise and neurobiology
- Brain evolution
- Functional morphology
- Human anatomy and variation
- Human and primate evolution
My research focuses on human locomotor biomechanics, with particular interest in relating locomotor behaviour to brain size and development and skeletal morphology in humans, nonhuman primates and other mammalian model organisms. My research contributes to a better understanding of the evolution and development of human locomotor function and the neurological, skeletal, physiological and adaptive implications of evolutionarily important changes in locomotor behavior (i.e., bipedal walking, endurance running).
- PhD 2001 Stony Brook University
- MA 1997 Stony Brook University
- BSc 1993 University of Toronto
Distinctions / Awards
- Mildred and Herbert Weisinger Dissertation Fellowship, Stony Brook University 2000
- Outstanding Student Choice for Anthropological Recognition (OSCAR) 2010 for support of undergraduate research
- University of Illinois, list of teachers ranked as excellent by their students: 2007, 2008, 2010
- University Teaching Fellowship, Stony Brook University 1998-2000
- National Science Foundation. BCS-0925734 Doctoral Dissertation Improvement: Morphological Integration and Evolution in the Hominoid Vertebral Column
- National Science Foundation: BCS 0639630: Comparative analyses of femoral subchondral bone density in Primates
- National Science Foundation: CMMI 0727083 Quantitative Characterization of Complex Motion Patterns Using Shape-based and Multivariate Techniques
- National Science Foundation: BCS 0962903. Integration and evolution of human and non-human primate postcranial morphology
- Polk JD and Carlson K. Lower limb posture in Australopithecus sediba and extant apes. Leakey Foundation. $5000
- Polk JD (2014). Reconstructing posture and locomotion in early human ancestors. UIUC Research Board. $14000.
- Polk JD and McCoy A. (2017) University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Campus Research Board Ontogenetic changes in limb biomechanics and gait in horses. $20000. 03/13/2017 – 08/13/2018.
- Polk JD and Kersh M. (2017) Reconstructing individual posture and movement patterns from subchondral and trabecular structure. National Science Foundation Biological Anthropology Program $440872. 02/01/2017-01/31/2020.
- ANTH 102 Human Origins and Culture
- ANTH 240 Biological Anthropology
- ANTH 347 Human Osteology
- ANTH 408 Human Evolutionary Anatomy
- ANTH 440 Human Paleontology
- ANTH 444 Methods in Biological Anthropology
- ANTH 445 Research in Biological Anthropology
- ANTH 446 Behavioral Inference and Fossils
- BMS 622 Gross Anatomy