Author Info: Daniel E. Lieberman

Gender: male
About: Daniel E. Lieberman (born June 3, 1964) is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University, where he is the Edwin M Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences, and chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He is best known for his research on the evolution of the human head and the evolution of the human body.

Lieberman was educated at Harvard University, where he obtained his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. He also received a M. Phil from Cambridge University. He was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and taught at Rutgers University and the George Washington University before becoming a professor at Harvard University in 2001. He is on the curatorial board of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, a member of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and the Scientific Executive Committee of the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation. He is the director of the Skeletal Biology Laboratory at Harvard University.

Lieberman studies how and why the human body is the way it is. His research combines paleontology, anatomy, physiology and experimental biomechanics in the lab and in the field. He has focused to a large extent on why and how humans have such unusual heads. He is also well known for his research on the evolution of human locomotion including whether the first hominins were bipeds, why bipedalism evolved, the biomechanical challenges of pregnancy in females, how locomotion affects skeletal function and, most especially, the evolution of running. His 2004 paper with Dennis Bramble, “Endurance Running and the Evolution of the Genus Homo” proposed that humans evolved to run long distances to scavenge and hunt. His research on running in general, especially barefoot running was popularized in Chris McDougall’s best-selling book Born to Run. Lieberman is an avid marathon runner, often barefoot, which has earned him the nickname, The Barefoot Professor.

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