Nicholas B. Holowka


Nicholas Holowka.

Nicholas B. Holowka


Nicholas B. Holowka


Research Topics

Biological Anthropology; Human Movement; Biomechanics; Functional Morphology; Primate Locomotion; Human Health


I study the evolution of human bipedalism and the consequences of this process on musculoskeletal health. My research involves laboratory- and field-based investigations of the biomechanics of walking and running in humans and non-human primates. I use high-speed motion capture, inverse dynamics, ultrasound imaging and pedography, and apply my findings to interpreting fossil hominin morphology. 


  • PhD, Stony Brook University, The State University of New York
  • MA, New York University
  • BA, Wesleyan University

Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses

  • Human Evolution and Human Health
  • Paleoanthropology

Graduate Courses

  • Evolution of Human Biomechanics

Selected Publications

  • Holowka NB, et al. (2019) Foot callus thickness does not trade off protection for tactile sensitivity during walking. Nature 571, 261-264. 
  • Holowka NB, Lieberman DE. (2018) Rethinking the evolution of the human foot: Insights from experimental research. Journal of Experimental Biology. 221, jeb174425.
  • Holowka NB, Wallace IJ, Lieberman DE. (2018) Foot strength and stiffness are related to footwear use in a comparison of minimally- vs. conventionally-shod populations. Scientific Reports 8, 3679.
  • Holowka NB, O’Neill MC, Thompson NE, Demes B. (2017) Chimpanzee and human midfoot motion during bipedal walking and the evolution of the longitudinal arch of the foot. Journal of Human Evolution 104, 23-31.