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, and Jason M. Kamilar. “Great ranging associated with greater reproductive investment in mammals..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 106, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 192–96. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.0806105106. Full Text

Carter, Melinda L., et al. “Skeletal pathology in Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii in Kibale National Park, Uganda..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 135, no. 4, Apr. 2008, pp. 389–403. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ajpa.20758. Full Text

Raichlen, David A., et al. “The Laetoli footprints and early hominin locomotor kinematics..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 54, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 112–17. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2007.07.005. Full Text

Lordkipanidze, David, et al. “Postcranial evidence from early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia..” Nature, vol. 449, no. 7160, Sept. 2007, pp. 305–10. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nature06134. Full Text

Sockol, Michael D., et al. “Chimpanzee locomotor energetics and the origin of human bipedalism..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 30, July 2007, pp. 12265–69. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.0703267104. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Effective limb length and the scaling of locomotor cost in terrestrial animals..” The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 210, no. Pt 10, May 2007, pp. 1752–61. Epmc, doi:10.1242/jeb.002246. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman. “Predicting the energy cost of terrestrial locomotion: a test of the LiMb model in humans and quadrupeds..” The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 210, no. Pt 3, Feb. 2007, pp. 484–94. Epmc, doi:10.1242/jeb.02662. Full Text

Lieberman, Daniel E., et al. “The human gluteus maximus and its role in running..” The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 209, no. Pt 11, June 2006, pp. 2143–55. Epmc, doi:10.1242/jeb.02255. Full Text

Pontzer, H., and R. W. Wrangham. “Ontogeny of ranging in wild chimpanzees.” International Journal of Primatology, vol. 27, no. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. 295–309. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s10764-005-9011-2. Full Text

Pontzer, H., et al. “Trabecular bone in the bird knee responds with high sensitivity to changes in load orientation..” The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 209, no. Pt 1, Jan. 2006, pp. 57–65. Epmc, doi:10.1242/jeb.01971. Full Text

Pages

Ocobock, Cara, et al. “Daily energy expenditure in highly active humans in a natural temperate environment..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 144, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2011, pp. 227–227.

Raichlen, David A., et al. “Levy walks in hunter-gatherers: when are random walks an optimal search strategy?.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 144, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2011, pp. 246–47.

Dunsworth, Holly, et al. “Energetics-not pelvic constraints-determine human gestation length and altriciality.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 144, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2011, pp. 129–129.

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Hadza forager energetics and the evolution of the human metabolic strategy..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 144, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2011, pp. 242–242.

Ocobock, Cara, et al. “Climatic and physiological constraints on human body size and shape..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2010, pp. 180–180.

Joganic, Jessica L., et al. “The hungry brain: An assessment of liver size correlation with brain size as it relates to energy storage trade-offs across primate evolution..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2010, pp. 135–135.

Pontzer, Herman, et al. “Hominoid daily energy expenditure and the Human Paradox..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2010, pp. 191–191.

Ocobock, Cara J., et al. “Modification of limb inertial properties leads to persistent changes in neural control of walking in humans.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 49, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2009, pp. E283–E283.

Pontzer, Herman, and Jason Kamilar. “Greater Ranging Associated with Greater Reproductive Investment in Mammals: A New Perspective on Foraging Economics.” Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 49, OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2009, pp. E137–E137.

Pontzer, H., et al. “Daily energy expenditure in orangutans measured using doubly labeled water.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2009, pp. 213–213.

Pages