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Life in Slow Motion: Energetics, Aging, and Evolution in Humans and other Primates


for Members

Life in Slow Motion: Energetics, Aging, and Evolution in Humans and other Primates

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wenner-Gren Foundation

Presented By

Presented by the Anthropology Section


Energy is the currency of life, and understanding how humans and other organisms use energy reveals a lot about our evolved strategies for growth, reproduction, and aging. This talk will examine human and ape energy expenditure from a comparative and evolutionary perspective. Surprising new results show that physical activity accounts for only a small portion of the diversity in energy expenditure among mammals. Instead, evolved differences in life history — the pace of growth, reproduction, and aging — play a much larger role in shaping our metabolism.

A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm.

Registration Pricing

The event is free, but registration is required.



Leslie Aiello  

Wenner-Gren Foundation


Herman Pontzer, PhD

Hunter College  

Herman Pontzer, professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and the City University of New York, investigates the evolution of humans and the other apes. A native of western Pennsylvania, he attended Penn State as an undergraduate and received his PhD from Harvard University. Through laboratory and field studies, Dr. Pontzer’s work seeks to understand how our bodies evolved and how our evolutionary past shapes our lives today.

These projects have taken him to archeological excavations for analyses of 1.8 million year old human fossils, Ugandan rainforests for observation of wild chimpanzees, and most recently to northern Tanzania for measurements of energy expenditure in Hadza hunter-gatherers.

Travel & Lodging

Meeting Location

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

470 Park Avenue South, between 31st and 32nd Streets
8th Floor
New York, NY 10016