Daniel Oliver Schmitt

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
203 Biological Sciences Buildi, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 684-5664


My primary interest is in the evolution of primate locomotion. I am studying the mechanics of movement in primates and other vertebrates in the laboratory to understand the relationship between movement and postcranial morphology, and the unique nature of primates among mammals. Current projects include the origins of primate locomotion and the evolution of vertebrate bipedalism.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook 1995

Effects of Aging and Nutrition on Gait Mechanics: Interpretations of Skeletal and Muscular Material awarded by Wenner Gren Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

Collaborative Research: Biomechanical Significance of Bone Material Variation in the Primate Locomotor Skeleton awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2018

Ontogeny of Heel-strike in African Apes awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

The Effects of Vibration on Mouse Behavior awarded by American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (Investigator). 2015 to 2016

Gait Mechanics of Inverted Walking: Implications for the Evolution of Suspensory Locomotion awarded by L.S.B. Leakey Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement: The Biomechanics of Vertical Clinging and Grasping in Primates awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2014

Gait Mechanics in Primate and Nonprimate Quadrupeds awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2005 to 2010

Biomechanics and Inflammation in Osteoarthritis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Consultant). 2003 to 2008

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement: Vertical Climbing Efficiency in Primates awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2005 to 2006

DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Mechanical Properties and Functional Morphology of Mammalian Footpads awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2002 to 2004


Queen, RM, Franck, CT, Schmitt, D, and Adams, SB. "Are There Differences in Gait Mechanics in Patients With A Fixed Versus Mobile Bearing Total Ankle Arthroplasty? A Randomized Trial." Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® 475.10 (October 2017): 2599-2606. Full Text

Zeininger, A, Schmitt, D, Jensen, JL, and Shapiro, LJ. "Ontogenetic changes in foot strike pattern and calcaneal loading during walking in young children." Gait & posture 59 (September 23, 2017): 18-22. Full Text

Hanna, JB, Granatosky, MC, Rana, P, and Schmitt, D. "The evolution of vertical climbing in primates: evidence from reaction forces." The Journal of Experimental Biology 220.17 (September 1, 2017): 3039-3052. Full Text

Granatosky, MC, and Schmitt, D. "Forelimb and hind limb loading patterns during below branch quadrupedal locomotion in the two-toed sloth." Journal of Zoology 302.4 (August 2017): 271-278. Full Text

Fabre, A-C, Marigó, J, Granatosky, MC, and Schmitt, D. "Functional associations between support use and forelimb shape in strepsirrhines and their relevance to inferring locomotor behavior in early primates." Journal of Human Evolution 108 (July 2017): 11-30. Full Text

Gruss, LT, Gruss, R, and Schmitt, D. "Pelvic Breadth and Locomotor Kinematics in Human Evolution." Ed. KR Rosenberg and JM Desilva. The Anatomical Record 300.4 (April 2017): 739-751. Full Text

Larsen, RJ, Jackson, WH, and Schmitt, D. "Mechanisms for regulating step length while running towards and over an obstacle." Human movement science 49 (October 2016): 186-195. Full Text

Queen, RM, Sparling, TL, and Schmitt, D. "Hip, Knee, and Ankle Osteoarthritis Negatively Affects Mechanical Energy Exchange." Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 474.9 (September 2016): 2055-2063. Full Text

Granatosky, MC, Tripp, CH, and Schmitt, D. "Gait kinetics of above- and below-branch quadrupedal locomotion in lemurid primates." Journal of Experimental Biology 219.1 (January 1, 2016): 53-63. Full Text