• neanderthal

    Did we kill the Neanderthals?

  • immigration why

    Why do we immigrate?

  • estancia la costa weil

    Did ancient primates live here?

  • parapithecus

    Why do fossil primates have smaller brains?

  • Amboseli baboons

    Why does sociality affect health?

  • three hnds for website

    Did fossil primates have opposable thumbs?

Our Program

Duke evolutionary anthropologists are working to determine exactly what it is that makes us similar and different from our primate relatives. We apply our knowledge to understand how our body, brain and mind came to be and how our biology both enables and constrains us in our lives. By studying primate and human anatomy, endocrinology, genetics, behavioral ecology, and cognition we can inform discussions on many of today's most vexing societal problems. We are biologists dedicated to studying our past to serve our future.

Our students go on into careers in the sciences, health professions, advocates for science and evolution in the schools, or other natural science related fields.

Signature Research Collections and Resources



  • High resolution microCT scanning facility


  • microCT data archive

Upcoming EATS Seminars

Fall 2014

Location: 013 Bio Sci (11:45am -12:45pm)

October 31 Chase Nunez, Graduate Student, Duke UPE Topic:  Offspring of Primiparous Mothers Do Not Experience Higher Mortality or Poorer Growth: Revisiting the Conventional Wisdom with Archival Records of Rhesus Macaques

November 7 Dr. Callum Ross, Professor, University of Chicago Organismal Biology and Anatomy Topic:  TBD

November 14 Dr. Luis Barreiro, University of Montreal Assistant Professor Topic:  Decoding the Evolutionary History of African Rainforest Hunter-Gatherers and Agriculturalist Populations

November 21 Jackson Spradley, Graduate Student, Duke EvAnth Topic:  Primate Species Richness and Climate

December 5 Dr. Bert Covert, Professor, University of Colorado Dept of Anthropology Topic:  TBD

December 12 Dr. Rich Kay, Professor, Duke EvAnth Topic:  Biogeography in deep time – What do Phylogenetics, Geology, and Paleoclimate Tell Us About Early Platyrrhine Evolution?

In the News

Dr. Schmitt and the Duke Lemur Center featured in "Going Deep with David Rees" on the National Geographic Channel.  Also featured is Duke Alum, Dr. Jandy Hanna.  See clips here: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/going-deep-with-david-rees/videos/how-to-climb-a-tree/

First aired August 2014

    • how to climb a tree

Research Center

Article (Published January 3, 2014): Reconstructing the New World Monkey Family Tree

Article (Published November 2013): Lemurs; neck bling tracks siestas, insomia


    • rising star expedition churchill nat geo
Dr. Churchll & The Rising Star Expedition in the Cradle of Mankind, South Africa.

News Coverage of the expedition: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/dig-hominid-bones-begins-deep-cradle-humankind-2D11577467

and a live blog at National Geographic: