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, Herman. “The Exercise Paradox..” Scientific American, vol. 316, no. 2, Jan. 2017, pp. 26–31. Epmc, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0217-26. Full Text

Gurven, Michael D., et al. “High resting metabolic rate among Amazonian forager-horticulturalists experiencing high pathogen burden..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 161, no. 3, Nov. 2016, pp. 414–25. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.23040. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Behavior: Knowing When to Walk Away, Knowing When to Run..” Current Biology : Cb, vol. 26, no. 15, Aug. 2016, pp. R717–18. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.06.048. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life history..” Nature, vol. 533, no. 7603, May 2016, pp. 390–92. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nature17654. Full Text

Yetish, Gandhi, et al. “Response to de la Iglesia et al..” Current Biology : Cb, vol. 26, no. 7, Apr. 2016, pp. R273–74. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.02.057. Full Text

Laird, Myra F., et al. “Chewing efficiency and occlusal functional morphology in modern humans..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 93, Apr. 2016, pp. 1–11. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.11.005. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans..” Current Biology : Cb, vol. 26, no. 3, Feb. 2016, pp. 410–17. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.046. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “A unified theory for the energy cost of legged locomotion..” Biology Letters, vol. 12, no. 2, Feb. 2016. Epmc, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0935. Full Text

Yetish, Gandhi, et al. “Natural sleep and its seasonal variations in three pre-industrial societies..” Current Biology : Cb, vol. 25, no. 21, Nov. 2015, pp. 2862–68. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.046. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Energy expenditure and activity among Hadza hunter-gatherers..” American Journal of Human Biology : The Official Journal of the Human Biology Council, vol. 27, no. 5, Sept. 2015, pp. 628–37. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajhb.22711. Full Text

Pages

Kozma, Elaine E., et al. “Mechanics of Hip Extension Characterize Arboreal-Terrestrial Trade-offs in Hominin Evolution.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 162, WILEY, 2017, pp. 251–251.

Swanson, Zane S., et al. “Finite Element Modeling of Talar Loading in Modern Humans with Application to the Hominin Fossil Record.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 162, WILEY, 2017, pp. 374–75.

Pontzer, Herman. “How Much Food do Animals Need to Walk, Run, and Climb? This Much.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 162, WILEY, 2017, pp. 320–320.

Raichlen, David A., et al. “Objectively measured physical activity in a hunting and gathering population.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 162, WILEY, 2017, pp. 326–326.

Lieberman, Daniel E., et al. “Testing hypotheses about hominin locomotor evolution using models not analogies.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 162, WILEY, 2017, pp. 262–63.

Gagnon, C., et al. “Body mass index varies with event distances among elite runners but not swimmers.” American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 29, no. 2, WILEY, 2017.

Raichlen, David A., et al. “Sitting, squatting, and the evolution of human inactivity.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 159, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016, pp. 261–62.

Edwards, Wren, et al. “Energy expenditure and physical activity levels in captive tufted capuchins (Cebus apella).” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 159, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016, pp. 136–136.

Kozma, E. E., et al. “Determinants of Energetic Costs of Climbing in Humans.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 56, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2016, pp. E116–E116.

Kozma, Elaine E., et al. “Energetics and Muscle Use of Human Climbing.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 159, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016, pp. 196–196.

Pages