X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology

X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (XROMM) combines high speed bi-planar X-ray videography with Computed Tomography (CT) bone models to produce precise reconstructions of skeletal animations from recordings of live animals. This method was developed at Brown University by my PhD advisor and several colleagues, and has foundations in human orthopedic research. Within this community I was trained in anatomical dissection, live animal handling, surgical methods, X-ray operation, camera calibration, image processing, and 3-D animation. I spent the majority of my PhD learning how to best employ this method for studying the internal and external workings of the foot—a particularly challenging region of the body to study in vivo.
Because of the experience gained by participating in various stages of XROMM projects—from pythons to humans—led by other researchers, I was able to design my own entire study on alligators (imaged above) from the ground up: from acquiring logistics, permits, and writing protocols, to planning surgical requirements needed to drive difficult multi-bone joint animations, to pre-planning data collection and structure with future data analysis in mind.



Turner ML and Gatesy SM. (2021). Alligators employ intermetatarsal reconfiguration to modulate plantigrade ground contact. The Journal of Experimental Biology. 224, jeb242240.

Turner ML, Falkingham PL, Gatesy SM. (2020). It’s in the loop: shared subsurface foot kinematics in birds and other dinosaurs shed light on a new dimension of fossil track diversity. Biology Letters. 16: 20200309.

Tsai HP, Turner ML, Manafzadeh AR, Gatesy SM. (2020). Contrast-enhanced XROMM reveals in vivo soft tissue interactions in the hip of Alligator mississippiensis. Journal of Anatomy 236(2), 288-304.