The Unexpected Cursor: Exploring the Uniqueness of Humans as Endurance Runners

Date: April 6th - Monday


Dr. Bramble is currently Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Utah. He received his B.A. in zoology at the University of California, Davis. His M.S. and doctoral degrees were in vertebrate paleontology from U.C. Berkeley. In addition to the University of Utah, Dr. Bramble has had academic appointments at U. C. Berkeley and the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has also served as Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

Dr. Bramble’s primary research interest has been in the area of vertebrate form/function relationships and their biomechanical basis when studied in an evolutionary context. His studies have appeared in numerous book chapters, symposia volumes and journals, including the two leading international science magazines, Science and Nature. His 2004 cover article in Nature (with co-author Dan Lieberman) was instrumental in shifting the focus from the biomechanical demands of bipedal walking to those of endurance running as a central factor in the evolutionary emergence of the modern human body. He is a co-author of the book, Functional Vertebrate Morphology. Dr. Bramble’s approach to research has always been question oriented rather than taxon focused. For this reason, his studies have ranged widely (e.g., from the closing mechanisms of box turtles to the biomechanical integration of respiration and locomotion in humans), although integrative studies of mammalian locomotion, including its anatomical, biomechanical and physiological underpinnings, have been a central theme in his work.