Professor Brigitte Demes
Ph.D. University of Bochum, Germany, 1982
Phone: (631) 444-3119
Brigitte Demes is working in the general area of biomechanics. Her more recent work has focused on the quadrupedal and bipedal gaits of capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees. These primates are versed in both of these gait modalities, offering the opportunity to study what gait a quadrupedal primate adopts when it gets up on its hind legs. This gait transition is of particular interest to paleoanthropologists as it is the earliest feature that distinguishes our human ancestors from the apes. Other research is focused on the structure of long bones. Of particular interest here is the variation in the orientation of ground reaction forces generated and experienced by limbs when animals perform a variety of locomotor tasks that are representative for their locomotor repertoire in the wild. The results recommend caution with regard to conventional interpretations of long bone cross-sectional geometry. Similarly, in vivo bone strain data collected for macaque long bones challenge the popular paradigm that bone cross-sectional geometry is a reflection of the loads that bones experience during common activities.
Demes, B. & O'Neill, M., 2013: Ground reaction forces and center of mass mechanics of bipedal capuchin monkeys: Implications
for the evolution of human bipedalism. Am. J. phys. Anthropol. 150: 76 - 86.
Wallace, I.J., Tommasini, S.M., Judex, S., Garland, T. Jr. & Demes, B., 2012: Genetic variations and physical activity as
determinants of limb bone morphology. An experimental approach using a mouse model. Am. J. phys. Anthropol. 148: 24 - 35.
Demes, B., 2011: Three-dimensional kinematics of capuchin monkey bipedalism. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 145: 147 - 155.
Demes, B., Carlson, K.J., 2009: Locomotor variation and bending regimes of capuchin limb bones. Am. J. Phys.
Anthropol. 139: 558 - 571.
Wallace, I.J., Demes, B., 2008: Symmetrical gaits of Cebus apella: Implications for the functional significance
of diagonal sequence gait in primates. J. hum. Evol. 54: 783 - 794.
Wallace, I.J., Demes, B., Jungers, W.L., Alvero, M., Su, A., 2008: The bipedalism of the Dmanisi hominins: Pigeon-toed
early Homo? Am. J. phys. Anthropol. 136: 375 - 378.
Demes, B., 2007: In vivo bone strain and bone functional adaptation. Am. J. phys. Anthropol. 133: 717-722.
Demes, B., Carlson, K.J. & Franz, T.M., 2006: Cutting corners: The dynamics of turning behaviors in two primate species.
J. exp. Biol. 209: 927-937