The DAWNDINOS research team works within the Structure & Motion Lab at the Royal Veterinary College and is based at its Hertfordshire campus. The SML addresses key questions about how living and extinct animals are structured, how they move, how movement is controlled and what limits performance.


John Hutchinson

John Hutchinson_2John is a biologist originally from the USA who now resides in the UK as a dual citizen, and a Professor of Evolutionary Biomechanics at The Royal Veterinary College. He received his BS degree in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in 1993, then obtained his PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of California with Kevin Padian in 2001, and rounded out his training with a two-year National Science Foundation bioinformatics Post Doc at the Biomechanical Engineering Division of Stanford University with Scott Delp. John started at the RVC as a Lecturer in Evolutionary Biomechanics in 2003 in the Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences and was promoted to Reader in 2008, then Professor in 2011.

His interests are in the evolutionary biomechanics of locomotion, especially in large terrestrial vertebrates. He’s studied birds, extinct dinosaurs and their relatives, elephants, and crocodiles and looks at how locomotion works in individual species in order to reconstruct how locomotion has evolved across vast phylogenetic spans. In particular he’s interested in how body size influences locomotor abilities and how anatomy and function are related (or not). John has worked with a wide range of land vertebrates, and uses as many techniques as his team can muster. Dinosaurs (including birds), elephants, crocodiles, early tetrapods and more species have been favourite subjects of his research.

John is an Associate Editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences),  the new open access journal PeerJ, and the ISRN Evolutionary Biology journal. From 2012-2013 he was a Senior Research Fellow funded by the Royal Society Leverhulme Trust. He won the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology’s Romer Prize (2000), and was elected Fellow of the Linnean Society and Society of Biology, and was awarded the Charles Darwin lecture at the British Science Festival in 2012 as well as the RCVS Share Jones Lecture in Veterinary Anatomy in 2011. 


Andrew Cuff

Andrew PictureAndrew is a postdoctoral researcher in biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College. He received his PhD from the University of Bristol after studying the functional mechanics of ornithomimosaur dinosaurs. Andrew has worked on a wide range of species including fish, mammals, dinosaurs (both avian and non-avian), and crocodiles. Using a combination of skeletal morphology, dissections, experiments, and computer modelling of modern animals, his research helps to understand not just living species but make more accurate reconstructions of extinct species and answering of broader evolutionary questions.

 Selected Publication : https://peerj.com/manuscripts/3519/


Krijn Michel

Profile_Krijn1Krijn did his MSc in Marine Biology in 2010 at the University of Groningen, where he was involved in research studies on filter feeding in Ghost Shrimp. He also studied the effect of knocking out the lateral line sensory system in swimming Golden Shiners, under the supervision of Dr Matthew McHenry at UC Irvine.

His interest and collaborations led him to pursue a PhD in the Functional morphology at the University of Antwerp supervised by Dr Sam Van Wassenbergh and Prof Peter Aerts. He studied the biomechanics involved in the fish feeding system, in fish known to feed on land.

Krijn joined the RVC’s structure and motion lab in December 2015 to aid in the study of locomotion and morphology in salamanders. Currently, Krijn is a post doctoral researcher working on the DAWNDINOS project.


Peter Bishop

Peter2Peter is a self-confessed incurable ‘dino-nut’ having been fascinated by dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals for as long as he can remember. After completing his undergraduate studies in Geoscience at Queensland University in Australia, he combined his passion for palaeontology and mathematics in his PhD work at Griffith University, which focused on locomotor biomechanics in theropod dinosaurs. He has been actively involved with the Queensland Museum (Brisbane, Australia) since 2007, and has studied many extinct animals ranging from freshwater crustaceans to stem tetrapods, lizards and dinosaurs (avian and non-avian). Peter is particularly interested in integrating biomechanics with data from fossils, using a rigorous, physics-based approach to examine the adaptive significance of evolutionary changes in the vertebrate skeleton.

Peter joins the DAWNDINOS project in March 2018 as a Postdoctoral Researcher and we welcome him to the team!

Selected publications:

Bishop, P. J. 2014. The humerus of Ossinodus pueri, a stem tetrapod from the Carboniferous of Gondwana, and the early evolution of the tetrapod forelimb. Alcheringa 38: 209–238.

Bishop, P. J., Walmsley, C. W., Phillips, M. J., Quayle, M. R., Boisvert, C. A. and McHenry, C. R. 2015. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates. PLOS ONE 10: e0125723.

Bishop, P.J., Clemente, C.J., Weems, R.E., Graham, D.F., Lamas, L.P., Hutchinson, J.R., Rubenson, J., Wilson, R.S., Hocknull, S.A., Barrett, R.S. and Lloyd, D.G. 2017. Using step width to compare locomotor biomechanics between extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs and modern obligate bipeds. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20170276.

Bishop, P.J., Graham, D.F., Lamas, L.P., Hutchinson, J.R., Rubenson, J., Hancock, J.A., Wilson, R.S., Hocknull, S.A., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. and Clemente, C.J. 2018. The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: Predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs. PLOS ONE 13: e0192172.


 Louise Kermode

Louise July_2_2017Louise is the research administrator working on the ERC funded DAWNDINOS project and provides project management to support the research team on a wide range of activities. She is responsible for reporting on  project progress to the European Research Council, organising science outreach events and maintaining the team’s website. Louise has a background in project management and knowledge transfer within a research environment having previously worked in a similar capacity in the RVC‘s Pathobiology and Population Sciences dept. Louise has a BSc and Master’s degree in human & animal nutrition from Kings College, London.