Nathaniel J. Dominy

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

Selected Publications


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)

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 (2018). Evolutionary trends in host physiology outweigh dietary niche in structuring primate gut microbiomes. The ISME Journal in press (doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0175-0).

Dominy NJ, Yeakel JD (2017). Frankenstein and the horrors of competitive exclusion. BioScience 67:107-110. (doi: 10.1093/biosci/biw133)

Ramsier MA, Vinyard CJ, Dominy NJ (2017). Auditory sensitivity of the tufted capuchin (Sapajus apella), a test of allometric predictions. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 141:4822-4831. (doi:

Venkataraman VV, Kraft TS, Dominy NJ, Endicott KM (2017). Hunter-gatherer residential mobility and the marginal value of rainforest patches. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114:3097-3102. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1617542114)

Moritz GL, Ong PS, Perry GH, Dominy NJ (2017). Functional preservation and variation in the cone opsin genes of nocturnal tarsiers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 372:20160075. (doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0075)    

Gochman SR, Brown MB, Dominy NJ (2016). Alcohol discrimination and preferences in two species of nectar-feeding primate. Royal Society Open Science 3:160217. (doi: 10.1098/rsos.160217)

Dominy NJ, Yeakel JD, Bhat U, Ramsden L, Wrangham RW, Lucas PW (2016). How chimpanzees integrate sensory information to select figs. Interface Focus 6:20160001. (doi: 10.1098/rsfs.2016.0001)

Mason VC, Li G, Minx P, Schmitz J, Churakov G, Doronina L, Melin AD, Dominy NJ, Lim NT-L, Springer MS, Wilson RK, Warren WC, Helgen KM, Murphy WJ (2016). Genomic analysis reveals hidden biodiversity within colugos, the sister group to primates. Science Advances 2:e1600633. (doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600633)

Melin AD, Wells K, Moritz GL, Kistler L, Orkin JD, Timm RM, Bernard H, Lakim MB, Perry GH, Kawamura S, Dominy NJ (2016). Euarchontan opsin variation brings new focus to primate origins. Molecular Biology and Evolution 33:1029-1041. (doi: 10.1093/molbev/msv346)

Butler EE, Dominy NJ (2016). Architecture and functional ecology of the human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit. Journal of Anatomy 228:561-568. (doi: 10.1111/joa.12432)

Valenta K, Edwards M, Rafaliarison RR, Johnson SE, Holmes SM, Brown KA, Dominy NJ, Lehman SM, Parra EJ, Melin AD (2016). Visual ecology of true lemurs suggests a cathemeral origin for the primate cone opsin polymorphism. Functional Ecology 30:932-942. (doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12575)

Dominy NJ (2015). Ferment in the family tree. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112:308-309. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421566112)

Dominy NJ (2015). Reindeer vision explains the benefits of a glowing nose. Frontiers for Young Minds 3:18. (doi: 10.3389/frym.2015.00018)

Kraft TS, Wright SJ, Turner I, Lucas PW, Oufiero CE, Supardi Noor MN, Sun I-F, Dominy NJ (2015). Seed size and the evolution of leaf defences. Journal of Ecology 103:1057-1068. (doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12407).

Crowley BE, Melin AD, Yeakel JD, Dominy NJ (2015). Do oxygen isotope values in collagen reflect the ecology and physiology of neotropical mammals? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3:127. (doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00127)

Hernández Salazar LT, Dominy NJ, Laska M (2015). The sensory systems of Alouatta: Evolution with an eye to ecology. In Kowalewski M, Garber PA, Cortés-Ortiz L, Urbani B, Youlatos D (eds) Howler monkeys: Adaptive radiation, systematics, and morphology. Springer, New York, pp. 317-336. (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1957-4_12)

+ View 13 more