Faculty

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A Winkler

Alisa J. Winkler

Adjunct Faculty
Research Professor
Paleontology

Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
214-768-2830

  • Mammalian Paleontology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Functional Anatomy of Small Mammals

Research Statement

Alisa Winkler's research interests focus on the systematics, paleobiogeography, and paleoecology of fossil mammals, in particular rodents and rabbits. Study is concentrated on the Neogene (especially the Early Miocene-Early Pliocene) of East Africa and southern Asia, as well as the Pleistocene of Texas.

Research in East Africa is primarily in conjunction with multidisciplinary teams studying major faunal accumulations, with an emphasis on recovering hominoid fossils and deciphering the ecological context in which hominoids lived and evolved. Study of the small mammals from these sites adds information on the associated faunal community. Paleoecological inferences from the small mammals aid in the reconstruction of Neogene climates, and the role climate change played in the evolution of hominids and other taxa. Comparisons of East African small mammals with taxa from other parts of Africa and Eurasia support conclusions drawn from the large mammal fauna that intra- and intercontinental dispersal was a major factor affecting community change during the Neogene.

Alisa's current projects include the study of rodents from Kanapoi, northern Kenya (4 Ma; with Fredrick Manthi, National Museums of Kenya), Khasm el Raqaba, Egypt (Miocene; with Greg Gunnell, University of Michigan), Drotsky’s Cave, Botswana (Pleistocene; with Larry Robbins; Michigan State University), early Miocene sites in Uganda and Kenya (with Laura MacLatchy, University of Michigan), and Tugen Hills sites in central Kenya (15-4 Ma; with Andrew Hill, Yale University). Work also continues on the exceptional collection of the hare, Serengetilagus, from Laetoli, Tanzania (4-3 Ma; with Yukimitsu Tomida, National Science Museum, Japan).

Alisa is also active in studies of Pleistocene mammals (large and small) from Texas, including continued systematic work on the Fyllan Cave local fauna (Austin), and description of a large muskox from northern Texas.

Alisa continues to teach Human Anatomy to Medical and Health Professions Students as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Selected Publications

Winkler, A. J. 2003. Rodents and lagomorphs from the Miocene and Pliocene of Lothagam, northern Kenya. Pp. 169-198, in (M. G. Leakey and J. M. Harris, eds.), Lothagam: Dawn of Humanity in Eastern Africa. Columbia University Press, New York.

Winkler, A. J. and W. Gose. 2003. Mammalian fauna and paleomagnetics of the middle Irvingtonian (early Pleistocene) Fyllan Cave and Kitchen Door localities, Travis County, Texas. Pp. 215- 261, in (B. W. Schubert, J. I. Mead, and R. W. Graham, eds., Vertebrate Paleontology of Late Cenozoic Cave Deposits in North America. Indiana University Press, Indiana.

Flynn, L. J., A. J. Winkler, L. L. Jacobs, and W. R. Downs III. 2003. Tedford’s gerbils from Afghanistan. Pp. 603-624, in (L. J. Flynn, ed.), Vertebrate Fossils and Their Context: Contributions in Honor of R. H. Tedford. American Museum of Natural History Bulletin 279.

Winkler, A. J. 2003. Appendix to J. M. Harris, M. G. Leakey, and T. E. Cerling. Early Pliocene tetrapod remains from Kanapoi, Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya. Pp. 39-113, in (J. M. Harris and M. G. Leakey, eds.), Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of the Early Pliocene Site of Kanapoi, Northern Kenya.  Contributions in Science 498.

Winkler, A. J., L. MacLatchy, and M. Mafabi. 2005. Small rodents and a lagomorph from the early Miocene Bukwa locality, eastern Uganda. Palaeontologia Electronica Vol. 8, Issue 1; 24A:1-12.

Winkler, A. J., C. Denys, and D. M. Avery. 2010. Chapter 17: Rodentia. Pp. 263-305, in (L. Werdelin and W. J. Sanders, eds.), Cenozoic Mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Winkler, A. J. and D. M. Avery. 2010. Chapter 18: Lagomorpha. Pp. 305-317, in (L. Werdelin and W. J. Sanders, eds.), Cenozoic Mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Winkler, A. J. (2011) Chapter 4. Macroscelidea. In (T. Harrison, ed.). Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli, Tanzania: Human Evolution in Context. Volume 2: Fossil Hominins and the Associated Fauna. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, Springer Press.

Winkler, A. J. and Y. Tomida. (2011) Chapter 3. The lower third premolar of Serengetilagus praecapensis (Mammalia: Lagomorpha: Leporidae) from Laetoli, Tanzania. In (T. Harrison, ed.). Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli, Tanzania: Human Evolution in Context. Volume 2: Fossil Hominins and the Associated Fauna. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, Springer Press.

Winkler, A. J., L. J. Flynn, and Y. Tomida. (2011) Fossil lagomorphs from the Potwar Plateau, Pakistan. Palaeontologia Electronica Vol. 14, Issue 3;38A:1-16.