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Fellows Directory

John Hutchinson

John Hutchinson

Professor John Hutchinson FRS


Elected: 2023






Professor Hutchinson is a leader in the field of evolutionary biomechanics. He has transformed palaeontology and biomechanics by synthesising experimental and computational approaches (such as simulations) to determine how animals function and how behaviours such as locomotion evolved. His empirical testing of the validity and accuracy of theoretical approaches has advanced neontology and palaeontology into a more careful, confident era in which hypotheses about musculoskeletal form, function and performance are robustly tested at the species level and across major evolutionary transitions. His innovations have opened new areas of inquiry and his discoveries have changed our understanding of evolutionary biomechanics.

Professor Hutchinson's major research interests include the locomotion of; and evolution thereof; dinosaurs and their Mesosoic relatives; elephants; early tetrapod vertebrates; and large land vertebrates more generally. How the anatomy and physics of terrestrial locomotion evolved across major evolutionary transitions is a particular focus of his studies. He tackles key questions about these transitions, and musculoskeletal function in single species, with an interdisciplinary approach bringing together methods and perspectives from biology, palaeontology, engineering, computer imaging and veterinary science.

Professional positions

Professor of Evolutionary Biomechanics, Royal Veterinary College

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Engineering, mechanical
  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geology
  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
    • Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical), Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical)
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Biological modelling, Evolution, Organismal biology (including invertebrate and vertebrate zoology)
  • Health and human sciences
    • Veterinary, clinical studies


Dinosaur, Elephant, Tetrapod, Crocodile, Bird, Scaling, Macroevolution

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