John Polk

John D. Polk

Primary Field
Biological Anthropology
Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology, SUNY, University at Albany, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Bone biology; locomotor biomechanics; both locomotor and brain evolution

Dr. Polk's research focuses on locomotor biomechanics, with particular interests in (1) the responsiveness of skeletal structures to mechanical forces during growth and across the lifespan (2) locomotor performance in gait acquisition, athletics, gait pathology, rehabilitation and health, and comparative primate locomotion (3) relating locomotor behavior to brain size. Each of these areas has implications for understanding behavioral changes during human evolution.  I work with a range of model systems including humans, nonhuman primates and other mammals. 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). 

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