Jeremy DeSilva

Faculty Profiles

Jeremy DeSilva

see fieldwork photos

Assistant Professor

desilvaOffice: 232 Bay State Road, #104B
Office Phone: 617-353-5026

Fall Office Hours:

Monday and Wednesdays 12:30-1:30, Wednesdays 9:30-10:30 and by appointment

Jeremy is a functional morphologist, interested in reconstructing the locomotor habits of the earliest apesĀ  and early human ancestors (hominins). His particular anatomical expertise–the evolution of the human foot and ankle–has contributed to the on-going debate of Australopithecine locomotion. See an article and video from Bostonia on Dr. DeSilva’s research.

He has also developed a method for inferring the size of the brain at birth in extinct humans and other primates, thus allowing more reliable inferences concerning labor and its constraints on the anatomy and evolution of the pelvis.

Dr. DeSilva has studied climbing in a wild population of chimpanzees in the Kibale National Park, western Uganda. Additionally, he is part of a research team excavating and analyzing the fossilized remains of some of the earliest apes on the slopes of the now extinct Moroto and Napak volcanoes in the Karamoja district of eastern Uganda. His research incorporates both kinematic and kinetic analyses in order to better understand the variation of locomotion in extant primates. He also uses micro-CT techniques to quantify internal bony architecture, and infer from these data locomotion in extinct human and ape ancestors.


  • AN 335/735 The Ape Within
  • AN 102 Human Behavioral Biology and Evolution
  • AN 598 Special Issues in Biological Anthropology
  • AN 550 Human Skeleton
  • AN 552 Primate Evolution


PhD University of Michigan
BA Cornell University

View Dr. DeSilva’s CV

Read an interview from the quad here.

See an interview on “The Missing Link Misunderstood” here.

See Dr. DeSilva’s talk on “Apes, Bones and Genes: The Science of Human Origins” here.

Jeremy DeSilva discusses Australopithecus sediba on Fox