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

Foster, Adam D., et al. “Muscle force production during bent-knee, bent-hip walking in humans..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 65, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 294–302. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.06.012. Full Text

Barak, Meir M., et al. “Trabecular evidence for a human-like gait in Australopithecus africanus..” Plos One, vol. 8, no. 11, Jan. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077687. Full Text

Raichlen, David A., et al. “A new look at the Dynamic Similarity Hypothesis: the importance of swing phase..” Biology Open, vol. 2, no. 10, Jan. 2013, pp. 1032–36. Epmc, doi:10.1242/bio.20135165. Full Text

Pontzer, H. “Ecological energetics in early Homo.” Current Anthropology, vol. 53, no. SUPPL. 6, Dec. 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1086/667402. Full Text

Dunsworth, Holly M., et al. “Metabolic hypothesis for human altriciality..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 109, no. 38, Sept. 2012, pp. 15212–16. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.1205282109. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Relating ranging ecology, limb length, and locomotor economy in terrestrial animals..” Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol. 296, Mar. 2012, pp. 6–12. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.11.018. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Hunter-gatherer energetics and human obesity..” Plos One, vol. 7, no. 7, Jan. 2012. Epmc, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040503. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Dental microwear texture analysis and diet in the Dmanisi hominins..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 61, no. 6, Dec. 2011, pp. 683–87. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.08.006. Full Text

Orkin, Joseph D., and Herman Pontzer. “The Narrow Niche hypothesis: gray squirrels shed new light on primate origins..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 144, no. 4, Apr. 2011, pp. 617–24. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.21450. Full Text

Cowgill, Libby W., et al. “Waddling and toddling: the biomechanical effects of an immature gait..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 143, no. 1, Sept. 2010, pp. 52–61. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.21289. Full Text

Pages

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Daily water turn over in humans, apes, and fossil hominins.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 210–210.

Kozma, Elaine E., et al. “Hamstrings, moment arms, and gait mechanics in early hominins.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 160–160.

Glasgow, Allison M., and Herman Pontzer. “Effects of honey consumption and latitude on hunter-gatherer nutritional profiles.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 125–125.

Thomas, Oshane O., et al. “Exploring the relationship between anthropoid cuboid morphology and expressed locomotor behavior.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 253–253.

Darr, Maria R., et al. “A comparison of mediolateral ground forces in humans and chimpanzees.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 102–102.

Ocobock, Cara, et al. “Measuring and predicting daily energy expenditure of highly active humans in natural environments..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 210–210.

Webb, Nicole M., et al. “An analysis of the Ardipithecus ramidus pelvis reconstruction using 3D geometric morphometric techniques..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 287–287.

Laird, Myra F., and Herman Pontzer. “Occlusal surfaces and chewing efficiency in modern humans..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 176–77.

Darr, Maria R., et al. “The bicondylar angle in modern humans and its relationship to joint stresses and locomotor economy.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 108–108.

Green, Stephanie A., and Herman Pontzer. “Comparing forelimb skeletal anatomy in gray squirrels and primates.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 136–136.

Pages