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

Selected Grants

The Cost of Living: Development & Implementation of a large Global Database of Human Metabolic Physiology awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Gurven, Michael, et al. “Methodological differences cannot explain associations between health, anthropometrics, and excess resting metabolic rate..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 169, no. 1, May 2019, pp. 197–98. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.23811. Full Text

Rosinger, Asher Y., et al. “Age-related decline in urine concentration may not be universal: Comparative study from the U.S. and two small-scale societies..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 705–16. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.23788. Full Text

Christopher, Lauren, et al. “High energy requirements and water throughput of adult Shuar forager-horticulturalists of Amazonian Ecuador..” American Journal of Human Biology : The Official Journal of the Human Biology Council, Feb. 2019. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajhb.23223. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Method and rationale for recalculating dilution spaces to a single, common time point in doubly labeled water studies..” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 72, no. 12, Dec. 2018, pp. 1620–24. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41430-018-0361-1. Full Text

Pontzer, H., et al. “Hunter-gatherers as models in public health..” Obesity Reviews : An Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, vol. 19 Suppl 1, Dec. 2018, pp. 24–35. Epmc, doi:10.1111/obr.12785. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Energy Constraint as a Novel Mechanism Linking Exercise and Health..” Physiology (Bethesda, Md.), vol. 33, no. 6, Nov. 2018, pp. 384–93. Epmc, doi:10.1152/physiol.00027.2018. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Alternative Energy Physiological evolution in the human lineage.” Natural History, vol. 126, no. 8, NATURAL HISTORY MAGAZINE, Sept. 2018, pp. 37–39.

Finestone, Emma M., et al. “Great ape walking kinematics: Implications for hominoid evolution..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 166, no. 1, May 2018, pp. 43–55. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.23397. Full Text

Urlacher, Samuel S., et al. “Tradeoffs between immune function and childhood growth among Amazonian forager-horticulturalists..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 115, no. 17, Apr. 2018, pp. E3914–21. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.1717522115. Full Text

Kozma, Elaine E., et al. “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, vol. 115, no. 16, Apr. 2018, pp. 4134–39. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.1715120115. Full Text

Pages

Ocobock, Cara, et al. “Sustained high levels of physical activity lead to improved performance among "Race Across the USA" athletes..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, no. 4, 2019, pp. 789–94. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.23781. Full Text

Wood, Brian M., et al. “Hadza Hunter-Gatherers Exhibit Gender Differences in Space Use and Spatial Cognition Consistent with the Ecology of Male and Female Targeted Foods.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, WILEY, 2019, pp. 273–74.

Pontzer, H., et al. “Water throughput in humans and apes.” American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 31, no. 2, WILEY, 2019.

Urlacher, S. S., et al. “The energetic ecology of childhood: Tradeoffs in energy allocation and the impact of market integration on ontogeny and health.” American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 31, no. 2, WILEY, 2019.

Hora, Martin, et al. “Persistence hunting in Levant: Both Neandertals and modern humans could run down a horse.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, WILEY, 2019, pp. 107–107.

Kozma, Elaine E., et al. “Arboreal Positional Behavior in Humans, Chimpanzees, and Gorillas.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, WILEY, 2019, pp. 131–131.

Swanson, Zane S., et al. “The effect of the alpha-actinin 3 (ACTN3) R577X polymorphism and mtDNA on energy expenditure in modern humans.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, WILEY, 2019, pp. 242–43.

Sayre, M. Katherine, et al. “Influence of physical activity on aging and frailty in human foragers.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 168, WILEY, 2019, pp. 217–217.

Machanda, Z., et al. “MUSCULOSKELETAL GROWTH IN WILD CHIMPANZEES WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL BEHAVIOR.” American Journal of Primatology, vol. 80, WILEY, 2018.

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