I'm a biomechanist with a zoology background (Antwerp University, Belgium), and with a long standing interest in human locomotion. I work in the Evolutionary Morphology & Biomechanics Group of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease of the University of Liverpool. I am equally interested in ultimate questions (how did walking on two legs evolve?) and in proximate questions (how do things work here-and-now). Currently my work focuses on taking human locomotion research beyond the simplified conditions we have usually focused on, i.e. walking in a straight line on a flat substrate. These are not the conditions in which we evolved and these are also not the conditions we encounter in day-to-day activities. Projects include lab work on complex substrates and turning manoeuvres, the effect of footwear on walking, and field work with UK and various indigenous populations. I have a great interest in how gait is affected during healthy ageing, as well as in disease, with a particular interest in osteo-arthritis.
- Looking for the best foot in the best shoe: how to stimulate healthy locomotion in an ageing population? (Keynote Speech, 17th Stafford Conference on Clinical Biomechanics 2019)
- The biomechanics of human locomotion: Evolving barefoot (Keynote Speech, Footwear Biomechanics Symposium, Natal, Brazil 2013)
- The evolution of feet (Invitation to Speak, Lustrum Congress Podology, Ghent, Belgium 2012)
- The biomechanics of bipedal gait: About modern humans, their ancestors, and robots (Invitation to Speak, Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2011)
- Nike Research Award (Prize, Footwear Biomechanics Group (a technical group of the International Society of Biomechanics), Stellenbosch, South Africa 2009)
- Plantar pressure distribution in the normal and in the diabetic foot (Invitation to Speak, Diabetic Foot Society of India, Mumbai, India 2006)
- Bipedal walking in hominins: What can we learn from experimental research on apes and humans? (Keynote Speech, Anthropological Society of Nippon 2005)
- The evolutionary history of the human foot (Keynote Speech, International Footscan Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic 2005)
- The evolution of habitual bipedalism in humans (Keynote Speech, Adidas Technical Summit, Scheinfeld, Germany 2000)
- Member of the EDWInA (Equality, Diversity and Well-being) Steering Committee in IACD. Sustainability Lead.
- Manager of the Medical and Comparative Anatomy Collection of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease.