Nathaniel J. Dominy

Academic Appointments

Charles Hansen Professor of Anthropology
Adjunct Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor, Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society (EEES) Graduate Program

I am an anthropologist and evolutionary biologist. I study the behavior, ecology, and functional morphology of humans and nonhuman primates. My research philosophy is to integrate tropical fieldwork with mechanical, molecular, and isotopic analyses in order to better understand how and why adaptive shifts occurred during primate evolution.

405A Silsby
HB 6047
Biological Sciences
B.A. Johns Hopkins University, 1998
Ph.D. University of Hong Kong, 2001
Postdoc: University of Chicago, 2002-2004

Selected Publications


Dominy NJ (2021). Secrets of the sacred baboons. Scientific American 325(5):46-53. (doi: 10.1038/scientificamerican1121-46)

Fannin LD, Singels E, Esler KJ, Dominy NJ (2021). Grit and consequence. Evolutionary Anthropology 30:375-384. (doi: 10.1002/evan.21927)

Dominy NJ, Fannin LD (2021). The sluggard has no locusts: from persistent pest to irresistible icon. People and Nature 3:542-549. (doi: 10.1002/pan3.10198)

McNutt EJ, Hatala KG, Miller C, Adams J, Casana J, Deane AS, Dominy NJ, Fabian K, Fannin LD, Gaughan S, Gill SV, Gurtu J, Gustafson E, Hill AC, Johnson C, Kallindo S, Kilham B, Kilham P, Kim E, Liutkus-Pierce C, Maley B, Prabhat A, Reader J, Rubin S, Thompson NE, Thornburg R, Williams-Hatala EM, Zimmer B, Musiba CM, DeSilva JM (2021). Footprint evidence of early hominin locomotor diversity at Laetoli, Tanzania. Nature 600:468-471. (doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-04187-7)

Fannin LD, Yeakel JD, Venkataraman VV, Seyoum C, Geraads D, Fashing PJ, Nguyen N, Fox-Dobbs K, Dominy NJ (2021). Carbon and strontium isotope ratios shed new light on the paleobiology and collapse of Theropithecus, a primate experiment in graminivory. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 572:110393. (doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2021.110393)

Everett MC, Elliott MC, Gaynor D, Hill AC, Syeda SM, Casana J, Zipfel B, DeSilva JM, Dominy NJ (2021). Mechanical loading of primate fingers on vertical rock surfaces. South African Journal of Science 117:10409. (doi: 10.17159/sajs.2021/10409)

Dominy NJ, Ikram S, Moritz GL, Wheatley PV, Christensen JN, Chipman JW, Koch PL (2020). Mummified baboons reveal the far reach of early Egyptian mariners. eLife 9:e60860. (doi: 10.7554/eLife.60860)

Dominy NJ, Melin AD (2020). Liminal light and primate evolution. Annual Review of Anthropology 49:257-276. (doi: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-010220-075454)

Butler EE, Dominy NJ (2020). Peer review at the Ministry of Silly Walks. Gait & Posture 82:329-331. (doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.02.019)

Dominy NJ (2020). Commemorating a milestone in primate numismatics. Neotropical Primates 26:3-6. (available here)

Mann AE, Mazel F, Lemay MA, Morien E, Billy V, Kowalewski M, Di Fiore A, Link A, Goldberg TL, Tecot S, Baden AL, Gomez A, Sauther ML, Cuozzo FP, Rice GAO, Dominy NJ, Stumpf R, Lewis RJ, Swedell L, Amato K, Parfrey LW (2020). Biodiversity of protists and nematodes in the wild nonhuman primate gut. The ISME Journal 14:609-622. (doi: 10.1038/s41396-019-0551-4)

Dominy NJ, Calsbeek R (2019). A movie monster evolves, fed by fear. Science 364:840-841 (doi: 10.1126/science.aax5394)

Ramsier MA, Cunningham AJ, Patiño MR, Glander KE, Dominy NJ (2019). Audiograms of howling monkeys: are extreme loud calls the result of runaway selection? bioRxiv 539023 (doi: 10.1101/539023)

Dominy NJ, Symes LB (2019). Close encounters of the bird kind. Anthropology News 60(3):3-6. (doi: 10.1111/AN.1166)

Gochman SR, Morano Lord M, Goyal N, Chow K, Cooper BK, Gray LK, Guo SX, Hill KA, Liao SK, Peng S, Seong HJ, Wang A, Yoon EK, Zhang S, Lobel E, Tregubov T, Dominy NJ (2019) Tarsier Goggles: a virtual reality tool for experiencing the optics of a dark-adapted primate visual system. Evolution: Education and Outreach 12:9 (doi: 10.1186/s12052-019-0101-6)

Kraft TS, Venkataraman VV, Tacey I, Dominy NJ, Endicott KM (2019). Foraging performance, prosociality, and kin presence do not predict lifetime reproductive success in Batek hunter-gatherers. Human Nature 30:71-91. (doi: 10.1007/s12110-018-9334-2)

Edwards R, and 115 others (2019). Global phylogeography and ancient evolution of the widespread human gut virus crAssphage. Nature Microbiology (doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0494-6)

Duytschaever G, Janiak MC, Ong PS, Wells K, Dominy NJ, Melin AD (2019). Opsin genes of select treeshrews resolve ancestral character states within Scandentia. Royal Society Open Science 6:182037 (doi: 10.1098/rsos.182037)

Amato KR, Sanders JG, Song SJ, Nute M, Metcalf JL, Thompson LR, Morton JT, Amir A, McKenzie VJ, Humphrey G, Gogul G, Gaffney J, Baden AL, Britton GAO, Cuozzo FP, Di Fiore A, Dominy NJ, Goldberg TL, Gomez A, Kowalewski MM, Lewis RJ, Link A, Sauther ML, Tecot S, White BA, Nelson KE, Stumpf RM, Knight R, Leigh SR (2019). Evolutionary trends in host physiology outweigh dietary niche in structuring primate gut microbiomes. The ISME Journal 13:576-587. (doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0175-0)

Amato KR, Mallott EK, McDonald D, Dominy NJ, Goldberg TL, Lamber JE, Swedell L, Metcalf JL, Gomez A, Britton GAO, Stumpf RM, Leigh SR, Knight R (2019). Convergence of human and Old World monkey gut microbiomes demonstrates the importance of human ecology over phylogeny. Genome Biology 20:201. (doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1807-z)

Gomez A, and 26 others (2019). Plasticity in the human gut microbiome defies evolutionary constraints. mSphere 4:e00271-19 (doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00271-19)

Dominy NJ, Winters S, Pease DE, Higham JP (2018). Dr Seuss and the real Lorax. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2:1196-1198. (doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0628-x)

Dominy NJ, Mills ST, Yakacki CM, Roscoe PB, Carpenter RD (2018). New Guinea bone daggers were engineered to preserve social prestige. Royal Society Open Science 5:172067. (doi: 10.1098/rsos.172067).

Higham JP, Dominy NJ (2018). The promise of primatology fulfilled? American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166:783-790. (doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23620)

Tan AWY, Dominy NJ (2018). Validation of a noninvasive hair trapping method for extractive-foraging primates. Folia Primatologica 89:415-422. (doi: 10.1159/000492328)

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