William R Leonard

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There is currently great interest in developing ecological models for investigating human evolution. Yet little attention has been given to energetics, one of the cornerstones of modern ecosystem ecology. This paper examines the ecological correlates of variation in metabolic requirements among extant primate species, and uses this information to draw(More)
Y chromosomal DNA polymorphisms were used to investigate Pleistocene male migrations to the American continent. In a worldwide sample of 306 men, we obtained 32 haplotypes constructed with the variation found in 30 distinct polymorphic sites. The major Y haplotype present in most Native Americans was traced back to recent ancestors common with Siberians,(More)
Infectious disease is a major global determinant of child morbidity and mortality, and energetic investment in immune defenses (even in the absence of overt disease) is an important life-history variable, with implications for human growth and development. This study uses a biomarker of immune activation (C-reactive protein) to investigate an important(More)
Large brain sizes in humans have important metabolic consequences as humans expend a relatively larger proportion of their resting energy budget on brain metabolism than other primates or non-primate mammals. The high costs of large human brains are supported, in part, by diets that are relatively rich in energy and other nutrients. Among living primates,(More)
This study reevaluates the long-standing observation that human morphology varies with climate. Data on body mass, the body mass index [BMI; mass (kg)/stature (m)2], the surface area/body mass ratio, and relative sitting height (RSH; sitting height/stature) were obtained for 223 male samples and 195 female samples derived from studies published since D.F.(More)
Immune function is a central component of maintenance effort, and it provides critical protection against the potentially life threatening effects of pathogens. However, immune defenses are energetically expensive, and the resources they consume are not available to support other activities related to growth and/or reproduction. In our study we use a life(More)
A bioenergetics model is developed to examine changes in metabolic requirements over the course of human evolution. Data on (1) body size and resting metabolism, (2) brain size and metabolism, (3) activity budgets, and (4) foraging patterns for humans and other anthropoids are used to evaluate ecological correlates of variation in diet and energy(More)
This study examines patterns of growth and nutritional status of indigenous Tsimane' children under 9 years of age (n = 199 boys and 210 girls), based on a cross-sectional sample from 58 villages from the Beni Deparment of lowland Bolivia. Compared with US children, Tsimane' children are quite short, with linear growth tracking at or below the US 5th(More)
Culture is a critical determinant of human behavior and health, and the intergenerational transmission of knowledge regarding the use of available plant resources has historically been an essential function of culture. Local ethnobotanical knowledge is important for health and nutrition, particularly in rural low-resource settings, but cultural and economic(More)
We examine the association between exposure to the market and Western society on the height of adult Tsimane', a foraging-farming society in the Bolivian Amazon. As with other contemporary native peoples, we find little evidence of a significant secular change in height during 1920-1980. Female height bore a positive association with own schooling and(More)