Herman Pontzer

Herman Pontzer

Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

Overview

How did the human body evolve, and how does our species' deep past shape our health and physiology today? Through lab and field research, I investigate the physiology of humans and apes to understand how ecology, lifestyle, diet, and evolutionary history affect metabolism and health. I'm also interested in how ecology and evolution influence musculoskeletal design and physical activity. Field projects focus on small-scale societies, including hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers, in Africa and South America. Lab research focuses on energetics and metabolism, including respirometry and doubly labeled water methods.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 2006

Pontzer, H. "Alternative Energy Physiological evolution in the human lineage." Natural History 126.8 (September 1, 2018): 37-39. (Academic Article)

Gagnon, CM, Steiper, ME, and Pontzer, H. "Elite swimmers do not exhibit a body mass index trade-off across a wide range of event distances." Proceedings. Biological Sciences 285.1882 (July 4, 2018). Full Text

Finestone, EM, Brown, MH, Ross, SR, and Pontzer, H. "Great ape walking kinematics: Implications for hominoid evolution." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166.1 (May 2018): 43-55. Full Text

Urlacher, SS, Ellison, PT, Sugiyama, LS, Pontzer, H, Eick, G, Liebert, MA, Cepon-Robins, TJ, Gildner, TE, and Snodgrass, JJ. "Tradeoffs between immune function and childhood growth among Amazonian forager-horticulturalists." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115.17 (April 9, 2018): E3914-E3921. Full Text

Kozma, EE, Webb, NM, Harcourt-Smith, WEH, Raichlen, DA, D'Août, K, Brown, MH, Finestone, EM, Ross, SR, Aerts, P, and Pontzer, H. "Hip extensor mechanics and the evolution of walking and climbing capabilities in humans, apes, and fossil hominins." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115.16 (April 2, 2018): 4134-4139. Full Text

Pontzer, H, Raichlen, DA, Basdeo, T, Harris, JA, Mabulla, AZP, and Wood, BM. "Mechanics of archery among Hadza hunter-gatherers." Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 16 (December 2017): 57-64. Full Text

Horiuchi, M, Fukuoka, Y, Handa, Y, Abe, D, and Pontzer, H. "Measuring the Energy of Ventilation and Circulation during Human Walking using Induced Hypoxia." Scientific Reports 7.1 (July 10, 2017): 4938-null. Full Text

Pontzer, H. "Economy and Endurance in Human Evolution." Current Biology : Cb 27.12 (June 2017): R613-R621. (Review) Full Text

Edwards, W, Lonsdorf, EV, and Pontzer, H. "Total energy expenditure in captive capuchins (Sapajus apella)." American Journal of Primatology 79.5 (May 2017). Full Text

Pages

Swanson, ZS, Pontzer, H, Luke, A, Dugas, LR, and Steiper, ME. "The effect of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) I/D polymorphism on energy expenditure in modern humans." 87th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 11, 2018 - April 14, 2018. Austin, TX.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Raichlen, DA, Hamilton, MT, Harris, JA, Hsu, C-H, Keadle, SK, Klimentidis, YC, Marx, TJ, Matthews, CE, Pontzer, H, Sayre, MK, Wood, BM, Zderic, TW, and Alexander, GE. "Fractal patterns of physical activity in hunter-gatherers suggest universal scaling of daily movement in humans." 87th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 11, 2018 - April 14, 2018. Austin, TX.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Castillo, ER, and Pontzer, H. "Locomotor-respiratory dynamics and gait frequency tuning in humans." 87th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 11, 2018 - April 14, 2018. Austin, TX.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Urlacher, SS, Snodgrass, JJ, Dugas, LR, Sugiyama, LS, and Pontzer, H. "Direct measures of total and resting energy expenditure among Shuar forager-horticulturalist children: Evolutionary and epidemiological implications." 87th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 11, 2018 - April 14, 2018. Austin, TX.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Eyre, J, and Pontzer, H. "The Effect of bi-iliac breadth on thermoregulation during running." 87th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 11, 2018 - April 14, 2018. Austin, TX.: WILEY, April 1, 2018.

Urlacher, SS, Snodgrass, JJ, Kramer, KL, Konecna, M, Pontzer, H, and Sugiyama, LS. "Objectively Measured Childhood Physical Activity among Small-scale Populations." 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 19, 2017 - April 22, 2017. New Orleans, LA.: WILEY, April 1, 2017.

Schneider, AL, Burghardt, NS, and Pontzer, H. "Reduced Immune Investment with Energy Stress: Evidence from a Mouse Model." 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 19, 2017 - April 22, 2017. New Orleans, LA.: WILEY, April 1, 2017.

Otarola-Castillo, ER, Castillo, ER, Hora, M, Torquato, MG, Warrener, AG, and Pontzer, H. "walkR: A Software Package to Analyze the Biomechanics of Human Locomotion." 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 19, 2017 - April 22, 2017. New Orleans, LA.: WILEY, April 1, 2017.

Ramirez, KR, and Pontzer, H. "Intrinsic Manual Proportions affect the Biomechanics of Suspension." 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 19, 2017 - April 22, 2017. New Orleans, LA.: WILEY, April 1, 2017.

Kozma, EE, Webb, NM, Harcourt-Smith, WEH, Raichlen, DA, D'Aout, K, Brown, MH, Finestone, E, Ross, SR, Aerts, P, and Pontzer, H. "Mechanics of Hip Extension Characterize Arboreal-Terrestrial Trade-offs in Hominin Evolution." 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA). April 19, 2017 - April 22, 2017. New Orleans, LA.: WILEY, April 1, 2017.

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