Alexandra Kralick


Alexandra E. Kralick is a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies life history and functional morphology of sex differences in the great ape skeleton. She developed a novel holistic methodology to identify the morphology, maturation, and ecology of two different types of adult male orangutans, flanged and unflanged, in museum collections. Using an osteobiographic approach, she brings fresh revelations to old museum collections. Her work pushes disciplinary boundaries by engaging with queer and feminist theory to showcase how great ape skeletons defy normative assumptions of biological sex and gender. Her work has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Leakey Foundation. She earned her B.S. in Biological Anthropology from The George Washington University where she studied gorilla dental development and wrist bone shape. You can follow her on Twitter @BioAnthFunFacts.


B.S. Biological Anthropology, The George Washington University, 2014

Research Interests

Human evolution, feminist biology, great apes, sexual selection, reproduction, osteology, morphology, life history

Selected Publications

Alexandra E. Kralick, Stephanie Canington, Andrea Eller, and Kate McGrath. (In Revision). Specimens as Individuals: Ethical considerations and best practices for great ape skeletal collections. Evolutionary Anthropology.
Alexandra E. Kralick and Kate McGrath. (2021). More severe stress markers in the teeth of flanged versus unflanged orangutans (Pongo spp.). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 176(4):625-637. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.24387
Alexandra E. Kralick and Babette S. Zemel. (2020). Evolutionary perspectives on the developing skeleton and implications for lifelong health. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 11: 99. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00099
Kate McGrath, Donald Reid, Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Keely Arbenz-Smith, Sireen El Zaatari, Lawrence M. Fatica, Alexandra E. Kralick, Michael R. Cranfield, Tara S. Stoinski, Timothy Bromage, Antoine Mudakikwa, Shannon C. McFarlin. (2019). Faster growth corresponds with shallower linear hypoplastic defects in great ape canines. Journal of Human Evolution. 137: 102691.
Alexandra E. Kralick, M. Loring Burgess, Halszka Golwacka, Keely Arbenz-Smith, Kate McGrath, Christopher B. Ruff, King Chan, Michael R. Cranfield, Tara S. Stoinski, Timothy G. Bromage, Antoine Mudakikwa, Shannon C. McFarlin. (2017). A radiographic study of permanent molar development in wild Virunga mountain gorillas of known chronological age from Rwanda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 163(1):129-147.

Graduation Year


Dissertation Title

Orangutan Osteobiography: Skeletal Morphology and Flangling in Pongo Spp

Graduate Status