Associate Professor


(On leave)


Stephen Prentice profile picture

Research interests

The control of movement is the product of an intimate relationship between mechanical and neural systems within a dynamic physical environment. My interests are in understanding how these systems interact in the control of posture and movement during walking. How does the nervous system incorporate body mechanics in planning and executing movement? How do different structures within the nervous system interact to produce muscle activation patterns for safe adaptable locomotion? Of particular interest is the development of mathematical models to address these issues and further understand the organization of the locomotor control system from both a neural and mechanical perspective. 

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

  • Research volunteer
  • Undergraduate thesis
  • MSc thesis
  • Coursework interns
  • PhD thesis
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship
  • Research assistant/coordinator

Please email me to discuss current available opportunities.

Graduate studies application details

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies


  • Anatomy
  • Biomechanics
  • Lower limb/whole body mechanics
  • Neural Control
  • Locomotion
  • Posture
  • Balance, falls, and mobility

Tools and techniques

  • Electromyography
  • Motion analysis
  • Kinetic measurement
  • Gait Anaylsis
  • Neural and biomechanical modelling


KIN 422: Human Gait, Posture, and Balance: Pathological and Aging Considerations

KIN 611: Biomechanics of Human Motion 


BSc, University of Waterloo

PhD, University of Waterloo

Post Doctoral Fellowship, Université de Montréal

Fellow of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics (FCSB) Awarded 2008

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications

See PubMed for publications

Mendeley profile

Gait Adaptations

Patla, A.E., Prentice, S.D., Robinson, C. & Neufeld, J. (1991) Visual control of locomotion: strategies for changing direction and for going over obstacles.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception and Performance 17:603-634

Prentice, S.D., Hasler, E.N., Groves, J.J. & Frank, J.S. (2004) Locomotor Adaptations for Changes in the Slope of the Walking Surface. Gait and Posture 20: 255-265.

Noble, J.W., & Prentice, S.D. (2008) Intersegmental coordination while walking up inclined surfaces: age and ramp angle effects. Experimental Brain Research 189: 249-255

Singer, J.C., McIlroy, W.E. & Prentice, S.D. (2014) Kinetic measures of restabilisation during volitional stepping reveal age-related alterations in the control of mediolateral dynamic stability. Journal of Biomechanics 47:3539-45.

Limb Mechanics

Patla, A.E. and Prentice, S.D. (1995) Role of active force and intersegmental dynamics in the control of limb trajectories over obstacles in humans.  Experimental Brain Research 106:  499-504.

Noble, J.W. & Prentice, S.D.  (2006)   Adaptation to Unilateral Change in Lower Limb Mechanical Properties during Human Walking Experimental Brain Research 169: 482-495.

Singer, J.C., Noble, J.W., & Prentice, S.D. (2011) Locomotor strategies in response to altered lower limb segmental mechanical properties Human Movement Science 30: 1199-1209.

Noble, J.W., Singer, J.C. & Prentice, S.D. (2016) Control of standing balance while using constructions stilts: Comparison of expert and novice users. Ergonomics. 59(2):265-75.

Neural Aspects

Prentice, S.D. & Drew, T. (2001) Contributions of the reticulospinal system to the postural adjustments during voluntary gait modifications. J. Neurophysiology 85: 679-698

Prentice, S.D., Patla, A.E. & Stacey, D.A. (2001) Artificial neural network model for the generation of muscle activation patterns for human locomotion. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 11: 19-30

Drew, T., Prentice, S. & Schepens, B. (2004) Cortical and brainstem control of locomotion.  Progress in Brain Research 143: 251-261

University of Waterloo