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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2009 Awardees 2009 (Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize) Scientific Illustration - Julia Molnar
Illustration by Julia
Julia Molnar

Top: "Reconstruction of the forelimb myology of Anhanguera santanae during launch" by Julia Molnar.
Bottom: Julia Molnar
Image and photo courtesy of Julia Molnar.

I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and received my BFA in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2003. In May 2009 I graduated from the Art as Applied to Medicine program at Johns Hopkins University with an MS in Medical and Biological Illustration. This master's program teaches traditional and digital methods of illustrating anatomical, surgical, molecular and biological subjects and academic coursework in medical and biological sciences. While studying at Hopkins, I received the JHUSOM Frank Netter Memorial Scholarship, an Award of Excellence from the Association of Medical Illustrators, and a Research Grant from the Vesalius Trust for my master's thesis, "Visualizing Quadrupedal Launch in Pterosaurs."

This illustration is part of my thesis, in which I illustrate and investigate a theory of quadrupedal launch in pterosaurs. I worked closely with the department of Functional Anatomy and Evolution at JHU, especially Mike Habib, who first proposed the hypothesis and described the launch sequence. In addition to a series of two-dimensional illustrations, I created a three-dimensional model of a pterosaur skeleton from high resolution laser scans of a fossil cast of Anhanguera santanae, provided by the American Museum of Natural History, and animated the model in the hypothetical launch sequence. None of this would have been possible without Michael Habib and Dr. David Weishampel, my subject matter experts, and Jennifer Fairman, my artistic advisor on this project.

By July I hope to be working with Dr. John Hutchinson and the faculty and students of the Structure and Motion Lab at the Royal Veterinary College creating three dimensional models to support their research into structure and motion in living and extinct animals.