School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Staff

Dr Danny Longman (he/him) graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (2005-8), as well as an MPhil (2008-9) and PhD (2011-2014) in Human Evolution. Danny then remained at Cambridge as a Post-Doctoral researcher, before joining Loughborough University as a Lecturer in Physiology in 2019. Away from work, Danny is a keen sportsman, with a passion for ultra-endurance sport, exploration and travel.

Dr Longman’s two research programmes are primarily focussed on human adaptability and function.

With colleagues, Dr Longman recently defined the sub-discipline of human athletic palaeobiology, in which athletes are recruited as study participants, and contemporary sports are used as a model to study evolutionary theory. The use of sport as a conceptual framework offers unprecedented opportunities to improve our understanding of what the body does, shedding new light on our evolutionary trajectory, our capacity for adaptation, and the underlying biological mechanisms. Recent work with ultra-endurance athletes has employed the theoretical framework provided by life history theory to characterise the human adaptive response to energetic stress. This approach is allowing the relationships between different physiological functions to be explored through the logic of trade-offs.

Dr Longman is currently developing a parallel and complimentary research programme, which is using nature to enhance understanding of how adaptation to our ancestral environments influences our function in the world today. Natural environments have provided the parameters within which natural selection acted to shape our biology since the emergence of H. sapiens 200,000-300,000 years ago. However, the last 200-300 years have seen urban centres rapidly become our primary habitat. This change has created an evolutionary mismatch; a situation in which health and wellbeing suffer from an incompatibility between the environment we are adapted to and the one we currently occupy. By studying how health and function vary between natural and urban settings, this work aims to enhance understanding of how our evolutionary history underpins our interactions with the modern environment.

Professional Memberships

  • Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB): Committee Member and Grants & Awards Officer
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Society for Endocrinology
  • Physiology Society

Selected conference presentations

  • Longman, D., Macintosh, A., Roberts, R., Oakley, S., Wells, JCK., Stock, JT. (2019). Endurance activity as a driver of morphological thermal adaptation; an investigation considering the energetics of endurance running. American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Cleveland, USA.
  • Longman, D., Wells, CK., Stock, JT. (2017). Signals in evolutionary and ecological context. Podium presentation. American Association of Physical Anthropologists. New Orleans, USA.
  • Longman, D., Prall, SP., Shattuck, EC., Stephen, I., Stock, JT., Wells, JCK., & Muehlenbein, M. (2017). Short-term resource allocation during strenuous and prolonged athletic competition. Poster. The Human Diversity & Adaptation Meeting. Oxford University, Oxford, UK.
  • Longman, D., Surbey, M.K., Stock, JT., Wells, JCK. (2017). Tandem androgenic and psychological shifts in male reproductive effort following a manipulated “win” or “loss” in a sporting competition. Poster. European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association. Paris, France.

Reviewer

Invited reviewer for:

  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • American Journal of Human Biology
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology
  • Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sport
  • Biology of Sport
  • Journal of Physical Education

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Society for Endocrinology
  • Physiology Society

Consultancy

  • 2015-Present: Helly Hansen
  • 2015-2017: Scientific Director, Jump Nutrition, Ltd.
  • 2012-2014: Nike, Inc

Selected Media

2018:

  • BBC Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Demonstration of evolved thermoregulatory mechanisms, broadcast 27th December 2018, BBC 4
  • Expert opinion provided to CNN – metabolic rates and evolution

2015-17:

  • Research reported in outlets including The Telegraph, The New York Times, Sky News, Runners’ World and Men’s Health, ABC Radio National Australia & New Zealand.
  • Longman, D., Oyama, S., Cracknell, J., Thompson, N., Gordon, D., Stock, JT., & Wells, JCK. (2021). Fluctuating asymmetry, a marker of poor growth quality, is associated with adult male metabolic rate. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1-10.

  • Longman, D., Macintosh, A., Roberts, R., Oakley, S., Wells, JCK., Stock, JT. (2021). Energetics as a driver of human morphological thermal adaptation; evidence from female ultra-endurance athletes.  Evolutionary Human Sciences, 3, E22.

  • Longman, D., Shaw, CN., Varela-Mato, V., Sherry, AP., Ruettger, K., Sayyah, M., Guest, A., Chen, YL., Paine, NJ., King, JA., Clemes, SA. (2021) Time in Nature Associated with Decreased Fatigue in UK Truck Drivers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18, 3158.
  • Longman D., Wells JCK. & Stock JT. (2020). Human athletic palaeobiology; using sport as a model to investigate human evolutionary adaptation. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology
  • Longman D, Macintosh A, Roberts R, Oakley S, Wells JCK & Stock JT (2019). Endurance activity as a driver of morphological thermal adaptation; an investigation considering the energetics of endurance running. Evolutionary Human Sciences 1.
  • Longman D. (2019). Fitness Benefits of Costly Signalling. In: Shackelford T., Weekes-Shackelford V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.
  • Longman, D., Surbey, MK., Stock, JT., & Wells, JCK. (2018). Physical dominance or all in the mind? Experimentally induced tandem androgenic and psychological shifts in male reproductive effort following competitive "win" or "loss". Human Nature. 29 (3), 283-310.
  • Longman, D., Wells, JCK., & Stock, JT. (2017). A trade-off between cognitive and physical performance, with relative preservation of brain function. Nature Scientific Reports. 7 (1), 13709.
  • Longman, D., Prall, SP., Shattuck, EC., Stephen, I., Stock, JT., Wells, JCK., & Muehlenbein, M. (2017). Short-term resource allocation during strenuous and prolonged athletic competition. American Journal of Human Biology. E23052.
  • Longman, D., Wells, JCK., & Stock, JT. (2015). Can persistence hunting signal male quality? Having versus getting: a test using endurance athletes. PLoS ONE. 10.4.
  • Longman, D., Hutchinson, JC., Stock, JT., & Wells, JCK. (2014). Attentional strategies during rowing. Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 10:321-331.
  • Longman, D., Stock, JT., & Wells, JCK.. (2011). Digit ratio (2D:4D) and rowing ergometer performance in males and females. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 144 (3), 337- 341.
  • Longman, D., Stock, JT., & Wells, JCK. (2011). Fluctuating asymmetry as a predictor for rowing ergometer performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 32 (8), 606-610