Kristi L. Lewton, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences

Director, M.S. Program in Integrative Anatomical Sciences

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Kristi Lewton is a biological anthropologist and evolutionary anatomist, and is an Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine. Kristi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, her master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, and a postdoctoral preceptorship at Harvard University.

Kristi Lewton’s research focuses on the evolution of primate locomotor systems. She studies the anatomy and biomechanics of human and non-human primate hindlimbs to understand the evolution of these structures, integrating both comparative morphometric and experimental approaches. Her current work focuses on identifying adaptations to locomotion in the pelvis; examining patterns of integration, modularity, and evolvability of the pelvic girdle in primates, carnivores, and mice; and investigating the relationship between pelvic anatomy and metabolic cost of locomotion in humans. In addition to museum and laboratory research, Kristi has conducted paleoanthropological fieldwork surveying for hominin fossils in South Africa and Ethiopia.

At the Keck School of Medicine, Kristi teaches human gross anatomy to first and second year medical students and graduate students.

Kristi maintains Adjunct Professor appointments in the Department of Biological Sciences in Dornsife College and in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. In addition, she is a Research Associate in Mammalogy at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.


  • Keck School of Medicine of USC: Year 2 Faculty Teaching Award, 2021
  • University of Southern California: Undergraduate Research Associates Program, 2017-2023
  • University of Southern California: Zumberge Individual Research Award, 2017-2018
  • Keck School of Medicine of USC: Year I Faculty Teaching Award, 2016
  • American Association of Anatomists: Short-Term Visiting Scholarship, 2016
  • Harvard University: Certificate of Teaching Excellence, 2013
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists: Mildred Trotter Prize, 2010
  • Arizona State University: Dean’s Advanced Scholarship, 2008-2010
  • School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University: Donald H. Morris Award, 2008
  • Arizona State University: NSF IGERT Fellowship in Neural and Musculoskeletal Adaptations in Form and Function, 2002-2006


  • Femoral and acetabular features explain acetabular contact pressure sensitivity to hip internal rotation in persons with cam morphology: A finite element analysis Clin Biomech (BristolAvon). 2023 07; 107:106025. . View in PubMed
  • Ape femoral-humeral rigidities and arboreal locomotion Am J Biol Anthropol. 2022 12; 179(4):624-639. . View in PubMed
  • A geometric morphometric approach to investigate primate proximal phalanx diaphysis shape Am J Biol Anthropol. 2022 03; 177(3):581-602. . View in PubMed
  • Integrative approaches to dispersing science: A case study of March Mammal Madness Am J Hum Biol. 2022 02; 34 Suppl 1:e23659. . View in PubMed
  • Bone volume in the distal calcaneus correlates with body size but not leap frequency in galagids Am J Biol Anthropol. 2022 01; 177(1):27-38. . View in PubMed
  • The developmental impacts of natural selection on human pelvic morphology Sci Adv. 2022 08 19; 8(33):eabq4884. . View in PubMed
  • Hip Adduction during Running: Influence of Sex, Hip Abductor Strength and Activation, and Pelvis and Femur Morphology Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 11 01; 53(11):2346-2353. . View in PubMed
  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology Review of: Skeletal Anatomy of the Newborn Primateby TD SmithVB DeLeonCJ VinyardJW Young. 2021; 176(1):152-153. . View in PubMed
  • March Mammal Madness and the power of narrative in science outreach Elife. 2021 02 22; 10. . View in PubMed
  • Calcaneal elongation and bone strength in leaping galagids Am J Phys Anthropol. 2020 03; 171(3):430-438. . View in PubMed
  • The effects of phylogeny, body size, and locomotor behavior on the three-dimensional shape of the pelvis in extant carnivorans PeerJ. 2020; 8:e8574. . View in PubMed
  • Evaluation of Articular Surface Similarity of Hemi-Hamate Grafts and Proximal Middle Phalanx Morphology: A 3D Geometric Morphometric Approach J Hand Surg Am. 2019 Feb; 44(2):121-128. . View in PubMed
  • Exercise-induced loading increases ilium cortical area in a selectively bred mouse model Am J Phys Anthropol. 2019 03; 168(3):543-551. . View in PubMed
  • Ischial Form as an Indicator of Bipedal Kinematics in Early Hominins: A Test Using Extant Anthropoids Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2017 05; 300(5):845-858. . View in PubMed
  • International Encyclopedia of PrimatologyEd: Fuentes, A. Bipedalism. 2017. . View in PubMed
  • The effects of captive versus wild rearing environments on long bone articular surfaces in common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) PeerJ. 2017; 5:e3668. . View in PubMed
  • Morphological convergence in the pubis of slow-moving primates and xenarthrans Am J Phys Anthropol. 2016 11; 161(3):381-397. . View in PubMed
  • In vitro bone strain distributions in a sample of primate pelves J Anat. 2015 May; 226(5):458-77. . View in PubMed
  • From the ground up: Integrative research in primate locomotion Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Apr; 156(4):495-7. . View in PubMed
  • Allometric scaling and locomotor function in the primate pelvis Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Apr; 156(4):511-30. . View in PubMed
  • A partial hominoid innominate from the Miocene of Pakistan: description and preliminary analyses Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 06; 112(1):82-7. . View in PubMed
  • Pelvic form and locomotor adaptation in strepsirrhine primates Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2015 Jan; 298(1):230-48. . View in PubMed
  • A wider pelvis does not increase locomotor cost in humans, with implications for the evolution of childbirth PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0118903. . View in PubMed
  • Evolvability of the primate pelvic girdle Evolutionary Biology. 2012; 39(1):126-139. . View in PubMed
  • American Anthropologist Complexity in biological anthropology in 2011: speciesreproductionand sociality. 2012; 114(2):196-202. . View in PubMed