Jeremy DeSilva

Academic Appointments
  • Chair, Department of Anthropology

  • Professor of Anthropology

  • Faculty in Ecology, Evolution, Environment and Society (EEES) graduate program

  • Honorary Research Fellow, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Connect with Us

Jeremy "Jerry" DeSilva is a paleoanthropologist, specializing in the locomotion of the first apes (hominoids) and early human ancestors (hominins). His particular anatomical expertise-- the human foot and ankle-- has contributed to our understanding of the origins and evolution of upright walking in the human lineage.  He has studied wild chimpanzees in Western Uganda and early human fossils in throughout Eastern and South Africa. From 1998-2003, Jerry worked as an educator at the Boston Museum of Science and continues to be passionate about science education. He is the author of the 2021 book First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human. Jerry lives in Norwich, VT with his wife Erin and their twins Ben and Josie.


Silsby, Room 409
HB 6047


  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2008
  • B.A. Cornell University, 1998

Selected Publications

  • DeSilva, J. 2021. First Steps. How Upright Walking Made us Human. HarperCollins.

  • DeSilva, J., 2021. Editor. A Most Interesting Problem. What Darwin's Descent of Man Got Right and Wrong About Human Evolution. Princeton University Press.

  • Prabhat, A.M., Miller, C.K., Prang, T.C., Spear, J.K., Williams, S.A., DeSilva, J.M. 2021. Homoplasy in the evolution of modern human-like joint proportions in Australopithecus afarensis. eLife. 10: e65897.

  • Kitchel, N., DeSilva, J.M. 2021. First AMS radiocarbon date and stable C:N isotope analysis for the Mount Holly Mammoth, Vermont, USA. Boreas.

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