We study how and why the human body is the way it is, focusing on the musculoskeletal system and other hard tissues. We are especially interested in how evolutionary approaches to studying the human body can help better prevent and treat musculoskeletal and inflammatory diseases. To address these problems, we integrate experimental biomechanics and physiology in both the laboratory and the field with analyses of the human fossil record.


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  • Nick Hollowka working with the Tarahumara
  • Dan explains throwing
  • Treadmill testing
  • Dan Lieberman in Lab
  • Tory Tobolsky Field Lab
  • Collaborators

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Statement:

   The Skeletal Biology and Biomechanics Lab’s mission is to study how and why the human body evolved to be the way it is —especially in terms of physical activity— and to use that evolutionary anthropological perspective to foster human health everywhere. 

   Just as we study the full diversity of humans, we are committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion not just in our lab, but also our research sites, our department, our field, our University, and beyond in the world.

   If you are interested in working in our lab, you are welcome regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and physical ability. Please visit our research opportunities page to see our ongoing projects and contact if you want to get involved.