Laura Johnson, PhD


Dr. Johnson’s research has focused on primate postcranial morphology, studying the replacement of claws with nails in the ancestral primate, as well as consequences of variation in limb length on locomotion. To study these topics, her methods are from experimental biomechanics, including kinematic and kinetic techniques.

As a medical educator, her research interests include studying retention of pre-clinical years into the clinical years and beyond, focusing on the anatomical sciences.

Academic Information

Assistant Professor
P. 573-882-1201

Research Interests

  • Student retention in medical education
  • Vertically integrated anatomy education
  • Adaptations to arboreality
  • Nails and Claws in primate evolution
  • Body size, shape and locomotion

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University


  • Johnson, L.E. “Vertical Clinging” In: International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Ed: Agustín Fuentes. Wiley-Blackwell. In press.
  •  Johnson, L.E., Hanna, J. and D. Schmitt. “Single-limb force data for two lemur species while vertically clinging.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 158(3): 463-474. 2015.