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Reader in Zoology, University of Birmingham

Dr Thorpe's expertise lies in the field of ecomorphology. Her research is about understanding how organisms get to be built the way they are built, and the consequences of their design for patterns of resource use, interactions with other species, and for patterns of evolution. Specific themes in her lab at present are the arboreal origins of human locomotion and anatomy; how animals (including humans) interact with complex habitats and the cognitive demands of complex locomotion


  • 2016–present
    Reader in Zoology, University of Birmingham
  • 2011–2016
    Senior Lecturer in Biosciences, University of Birmingham


  • 1997 
    University of Leeds, PhD (Biomechanics)


  • 2017
    Halsey LG, Coward SRL, Crompton RH, Thorpe SKS (2017). Practise makes perfect: performance optimisation in ‘arboreal’ parkour athletes illuminates the evolutionary ecology of great ape anatomy., Journal of Human Evolution 103: 45-52
  • 2017
    Johannsen L, Coward SRL, Martin GR, Wing AM, van Casteren A, Sellers WI, Ennos AR, Crompton RH and Thorpe SKS (2017) Human bipedal instability in tree canopy environments is reduced by “light touch” fingertip support. , Scientific Reports 7: 1135, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-01265-7

Professional Memberships

  • Anatomical Society
  • Primate Society of Great Britain