Bern Perchalski


Bernadette Perchalski, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Center for Anatomical Sciences
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Ft. Worth, TX 76107


Ph.D. Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University (2019).
M.A. Anthropology (Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Program), Pennsylvania State University (2013).
B.S. Biological Anthropology (with honors), Pennsylvania State University (2013).



My research focuses on the functional anatomy and biomechanics of arboreal locomotion in primates. I specialize in using computed tomography (microCT) to visualize and analyze primate postcrania in both living and fossil species. My research questions concern how primate adaptations, specifically nails and grasping feet, change how primates locomote in an arboreal setting compared to non-primates. To explore this question, I’ve collected experimental data on a comparative sample of primates descending in a lab space, and on free-range primates and non-primate mammals moving on natural supports.


I’m also involved in collaborative projects on middle Eocene North American Notharctines, a group of extinct adapiform primates, and have experience conducting paleontological field work in Wyoming (USA) in the Greater Green River and Bighorn basins. Related research has taken me to the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and American Museum of Natural History to collect morphological data from fossil and extant primate specimens.

Selected Publications

  • Perchalski, B. 2021. Headfirst descent behaviors in a comparative sample of strepsirrhine primates. American journal of primatology83(6): e23259.
  • Perchalski B. 2019. Descending Locomotion in Primates. Doctoral Dissertation, Duke University.
  • Perchalski B, Placke A, Sukhdeo SM, Shaw CN, Gosman JH, Raichlen DA, Ryan TM. 2018. Asymmetry in the cortical and trabecular bone of the human humerus during development. The Anatomical Record. 301(6):1012-25.
  • Perchalski B. 2018. Changes to limb yield and effective limb length in response to support orientation in primates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 165: 203-204.