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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2019 Awardees 2019 (Cohen Award) Armita Manafzadeh

Armita Manafzadeh is currently a fourth-year PhD Candidate in Steve Gatesy’s Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. Her research takes a functional perspective on the development and evolution of appendicular joints. Armita uses a combination of X-ray videography and CT scanning to visualize and measure the exact 3-D motions of bones in living animals. She can then take a virtual look inside hindlimb joints to see how they function during different behaviors. By integrating these experimental data with morphological data from fossils, Armita has been able to improve existing paleontological reconstructions of extinct animals.

Armita’s dissertation focuses on the hindlimb joints of archosaurs. As she works to create new methods for visualizing and analyzing joint function, Armita hopes to ground-truth the tenets of palentological reconstructions of locomotion. The Cohen Award will fund a new set of experiments on birds and alligators to evaluate the predictive power of joint mobility in locomotor reconstructions of extinct ornithodirans. Armita would like to thank the Cohen Award Committee for this opportunity, and apologizes that she couldn’t make the trip to Brisbane to accept the award in person.