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. “A new model predicting locomotor cost from limb length via force production..” The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 208, no. Pt 8, Apr. 2005, pp. 1513–24. Epmc, doi:10.1242/jeb.01549. Full Text

Pontzer, Herman, and Richard W. Wrangham. “Climbing and the daily energy cost of locomotion in wild chimpanzees: implications for hominoid locomotor evolution..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 46, no. 3, Mar. 2004, pp. 317–35. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2003.12.006. Full Text

Pages

Erez, T., et al. “A new computational method for simulation and optimization of hominin gait.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2009, pp. 125–125.

Foster, A. D., et al. “Muscle force production during bent-knee, bent-hip walking in humans..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2009, pp. 129–129.

Ocobock, T., et al. “Locomotor developmental timing in humans and other apes.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2009, pp. 201–201.

Wittman, A. Blackburn, et al. “Waddling and toddling: biomechanical effects of an immature gait..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2009, pp. 93–93.

Raichlen, David, et al. “Are Two Legs Better than Four? Comparative Biomechanics & the Evolution of Human Walking & Running.” Faseb Journal, vol. 22, FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL, 2008.

Wittman, A. Blackburn, and H. Pontzer. “The effect of pelvic dimorphism on locomotor cost: are women less efficient than men?.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2008, pp. 69–69.

Pontzer, H., et al. “Endurance versus efficiency in humans and chimpanzees: a new look at the old problem of becoming bipedal.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2008, pp. 173–173.

Maki, J., and H. Pontzer. “A predictive model for hominid lower limb length based on mean annual temperature, day range and body mass..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2008, pp. 147–147.

Orkin, J. D., and H. Pontzer. “Is primate-like grasping needed for fine branch feeding? Terminal branch use in eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2008, pp. 166–166.

Watsa, M., and H. D. Pontzer. “Does increased ranging effort lead to fewer wasted menstrual cycles?.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, WILEY-LISS, 2008, pp. 218–218.

Pages