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

Kivell, TL, and Schmitt, D. "Independent evolution of knuckle-walking in African apes shows that humans did not evolve from a knuckle-walking ancestor." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106.34 (2009): 14241-14246. Full Text

Sims, EL, Carland, JM, Keefe, FJ, Kraus, VB, Guilak, F, and Schmitt, D. "Sex differences in biomechanics associated with knee osteoarthritis." J Women Aging 21.3 (2009): 159-170. Full Text

Pells, JJ, Shelby, RA, Keefe, FJ, Dixon, KE, Blumenthal, JA, Lacaille, L, Tucker, JM, Schmitt, D, Caldwell, DS, and Kraus, VB. "Arthritis self-efficacy and self-efficacy for resisting eating: relationships to pain, disability, and eating behavior in overweight and obese individuals with osteoarthritic knee pain." Pain 136.3 (June 2008): 340-347. Full Text

Hanna, JB, Schmitt, D, and Griffin, TM. "The energetic cost of climbing in primates." Science 320.5878 (2008): 898--. Full Text

Bishop, KL, Pai, AK, and Schmitt, D. "Whole body mechanics of stealthy walking in cats." PLoS ONE 3.11 (2008). Full Text Open Access Copy

Cartmill, M, Lemelin, P, and Schmitt, D. "Primate gaits and primate origins." (December 1, 2007): 403-435. (Chapter) Full Text

Hutchinson, D, Ho, V, Dodd, M, Dawson, HN, Zumwalt, AC, Schmitt, D, and Colton, CA. "Quantitative measurement of postural sway in mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease." Neuroscience 148.4 (September 21, 2007): 825-832. Full Text

Cartmill, M, Lemelin, P, and Schmitt, D. "Understanding the adaptive value of diagonal-sequence gaits in primates: a comment on Shapiro and Raichlen, 2005." Am J Phys Anthropol 133.2 (June 2007): 822-825. Full Text

Schmitt, D, Cartmill, M, Griffin, TM, Hanna, JB, and Lemelin, P. "Adaptive value of ambling gaits in primates and other mammals." J Exp Biol 209.Pt 11 (June 2006): 2042-2049. Full Text