Kinematics of Quadrupedal Locomotion in Free-Ranging Primates

This project is ongoing.

The majority of primate species are partially or completely tree-dwelling (arboreal), and they often captivate observers with their ability to walk, run, and leap with ease along narrow, steep, and bending branches. The goal of this project is to investigate the mechanics of quadrupedal locomotion in wild primates moving in their natural environments, to provide a deeper understanding of the evolution of primate arboreal capabilities. Past studies of primate locomotor mechanics have largely come from laboratory-based research, but in this project we are using advanced and durable video technologies that permit high-resolution measures of locomotion (as well as substrate characteristics) in the wild. The results of this project will further our understanding of locomotor adaptations that are thought to be central to the evolution of our early primate ancestors.


No previous experience is required. Students with an interest in locomotor biomechanics, biological anthropology, ecology, and/or primate evolution will benefit most from working on the project.

Project Timeline

Project is ongoing.  Full for Spring 2024.


Student responsibilities will include using Matlab-based software to digitize limb movements and branch characteristics from videos of primates locomoting across various natural substrates.

Typical Time Commitment
Desired Length of Commitment
negotiable, but preferably at least one semester


The Office of Undergraduate Research recommends that you attend an info session or advising before contacting faculty members or project contacts about research opportunities. We'll cover the steps to get involved, tips for contacting faculty, funding possibilities, and options for course credit. Once you have attended an Office of Undergraduate Research info session or spoken to an advisor, you can use the "Who to contact" details for this project to get in touch with the project leader and express your interest in getting involved.

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