Born in Richmond, British Columbia (Canada), Tracy Kivell did her Ph.D. in biological anthropology at the University of Toronto (Canada) in 2007 on the developmental and functional morphology of the primate wrist. Postdoctoral studies investigating the biomechanics of primate locomotion at Duke University, USA, followed by studies of internal bone structure of primates at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany (2009-2013).
In 2013, Tracy Kivell joined the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK and was made full Professor in 2017. While at Kent, her research focused on combining studies of internal bone structure with studies of hand use in humans and other apes to reconstruct the evolution of locomotion and tool use in our fossil human relatives.
Tracy Kivell started her position as a director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in 2023.
Tracy Kivell’s research focuses on the evolution of apes and early humans through the study of the postcranial skeleton, internal bone structure and ape behaviour and biomechanics. Kivell’s Department of Human Origins will use high-resolution imaging techniques, measure and analyse anatomical features of the skeleton, and study the biomechanics of humans and other apes (both in their natural habitats and in the zoo) to reconstruct key behavioural transitions in our evolutionary story.