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

  • Evolutionary Medicine
  • Human Evolution and Human Health
  • Human Paleontology

Graduate Courses

  • Biomechanics in Human Evolution
  • Human Paleontology

Selected Publications

  • Holowka NB, et al (2021) Urbanization and knee cartilage growth among children and adolescents in western Kenya. ACR Open Rheumatology. In press. 
  • Holowka NB, et al. (2021) The human foot functions like a spring of adjustable stiffness during running. Journal of Experimental Biology. 224: 219667
  • 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.