JULIA CLARKE is a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist at The University of Texas at Austin. She received a BA from Brown University and her PhD from Yale University.
Her research focuses on using phylogenetic methods and diverse data types to gain insight into the evolution of locomotor transitions such as the origin of extant avian flight and the co-option of the flight stroke for underwater diving. She is particularly interested in understanding shared patterns and potential causal factors in the evolution of living bird lineages. Through international collaborative research and fieldwork (e.g., in Peru, New Zealand, Antarctica, Mongolia and China) she seeks to provide new fossil data to approach questions about the origin of the distribution and diversity of birds we have today.
She is broadly interested in both the way we communicate about the deep history of life and novel approaches to integrating data from living species to better understand this history.
Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, The National Geographic Society, Explorers Club, AAAS and has been covered by NPR’s Science Friday, the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Magazine, NOVA, and other outlets. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and currently serves as Associate Editor of Paleobiology and co Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anatomy.