Daniel Oliver Schmitt

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

Selected Grants

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Descent Locomotion Behavior in Primates awarded by National Science Foundation (Collaborator). 2018 to 2020

Collaborative Research: Biomechanical Significance of Bone Material Variation in the Primate Locomotor Skeleton awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2019

Ontogeny of Heel-strike in African Apes awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2019

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

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


Fabre, A-C, Granatosky, MC, Hanna, JB, and Schmitt, D. "Do forelimb shape and peak forces co-vary in strepsirrhines?." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 167.3 (November 2018): 602-614. Full Text

Snyder, ML, and Schmitt, D. "Effects of aging on the biomechanics of Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli): Evidence of robustness to senescence." Experimental Gerontology 111 (October 1, 2018): 235-240. Full Text

Hughes-Oliver, CN, Srinivasan, D, Schmitt, D, and Queen, RM. "Gender and limb differences in temporal gait parameters and gait variability in ankle osteoarthritis." Gait & Posture 65 (September 2018): 228-233. Full Text

Granatosky, MC, Fitzsimons, A, Zeininger, A, and Schmitt, D. "Mechanisms for the functional differentiation of the propulsive and braking roles of the forelimbs and hindlimbs during quadrupedal walking in primates and felines." The Journal of Experimental Biology 221.Pt 2 (January 22, 2018). Full Text Open Access Copy

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 (January 2018): 18-22. Full Text Open Access Copy

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

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 1, 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." Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) 300.4 (April 2017): 739-751. Full Text