Richard Leakey is Professor of Anthropology, Stony Brook University and Former Director of the Kenya National Museums and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Leakey’s field work at Lake Natron on the Kenya-Tanzania Border, the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia, and on the East shore of Lake Turkana produced a treasure trove of hominid fossils that provides much of the record on which our understanding of human evolution is built. Although no longer active in fieldwork, Leakey, as one of the foremost authorities on wildlife and nature conservation, continues to educate others about the dangers of environmental degradation.
Leslie Aiello was recently appointed president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, based in New York City. The new post caps off her 30-year career at the University College London where she was head of the anthropology department and most recently, head of the graduate school. A biological anthropologist, Aiello’s research examines the evolution of human adaptation, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between diet, climate, brain size, and cognitive and social evolution.
Robert Blumenschine is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers University. His research focuses on the construction of behavioral and ecological taphonomic models and their application to the vertebrate fossil record associated with the emergence the genus Homo. His work has emphasized ecological variables that influence carcass consumption and associated bone modification by vertebrate carnivores in free-ranging settings, and on experimental approaches to understanding bone assemblages that have been modified by multiple biotic and abiotic taphonomic agencies.
Christopher Dean is Professor of Anatomy at University College London, in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology. His research interests include the comparative anatomy of primate dental hard tissues in the context of human life history evolution. Christopher Dean has published extensively on topics related to his research and co-authored two textbooks, Introduction to Evolutionary Anatomy, with Leslie Aiello (1990), and Core Anatomy for Students with John Pegington (1995).
Christopher Craig Feibel is Associate Professor of Geological Sciences at Rutgers University. His research centers on the investigation of the geological context for evolution in terrestrial ecosystems, particularly those related to hominin evolution and the later Neogene, using sedimentary archives to reconstruct ancient landscapes and changing environments. His work has included field studies at the Turkana Basin in East Africa–to establish a geologic framework to the evolutionary record for which that region is so famous–and along the Levantine Corridor in Israel, and in Java.
John Fleagle is Distinguished Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. His research involves many aspects of evolutionary biology of higher primates, including laboratory studies of the comparative and functional anatomy of extant primates; field studies of the behavior and ecology of primates in Asia, South America, and Madagascar; and paleontological field research in Africa and South America. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976.
Patrick Nduru Gathogo is a Kenyan geologist based at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City). His geological studies in the Turkana region have focused on the sites of Australopithecus anamensis at the Kanapoi area of southeastern Turkana. He spends several months in the region every year working with Drs. F. H. Brown, M. G. Leakey, and L. N. Leakey. Recently, his work has centered on Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits of the Koobi Fora Formation in East Turkana where a team led by Drs. M. G. and L. N. Leakey has recently recovered many fossils of genus Homo.
Frederick Grine is Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the reconstruction of early hominid dietary habits from the analysis of dental microwear, and the phylogenetic relationships among species of Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and Homo as deduced from fossil skulls and teeth. Of particular interest has been the evolutionary history of the so-called “robust” australopithecines–members of the genus Paranthropus that flourished in Africa between about 2.5 and 1.2 million years ago.
William Jungers is Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. His interests include functional anatomy and biomechanics, morphometrics, the evolution of Malagasy primates, and early hominid locomotion. His research is concerned with functional, mechanical and ontogenetic aspects of musculoskeletal design in living and fossil primates, ranging from subfossil lemurs to early hominids.He is the editor of Size and Scaling in Primate Evolution and co-editor of Reconstructing Behavior in the Primate Fossil Record.
William H. Kimbel is Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University and Science Director of the Institute of Human Origins. He conducts field, laboratory, and theoretical research in paleoanthropology, with a primary focus on Plio-Pleistocene hominid evolution in Africa. He has undertaken field and laboratory research in Ethiopia (Hadar) and Tanzania (Olduvai Gorge), as well as in Kenya, South Africa, and Tunisia. He is specifically interested in the application of evolutionary and systematic theory to paleoanthropological problems.
Meave Leakey is Research Professor at Stony Brook University; Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society; co-director, Koobi Fora Research Project; and Research Associate, National Museums of Kenya. She has worked annually in the Turkana Basin since 1969. Current field research is focused on the time of emergence of Homo erectus. Meave Leakey impressed the world with her 1999 discovery of a 3.5 million-year-old skull and partial jaw believed to belong to new branch of early hominids. Dr. Leakey named the new genus Kenyanthropus platyops.
Daniel E. Lieberman is Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University. His research examines the evolution of the human body using both experimental and comparative approaches. His major research foci are the evolution of human running and walking capabilities, the origins of human cranial form, and the ways in which the musculoskeletal system grows and functions. He also conducts experimental research on adaptations for endurance running in humans and analyses of phylogenetic systematics.
Fredrick Kyalo Manthi is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Palaeontology at the National Museums of Kenya and a Post-doctoral Fellow at Stony Brook University. He received his PhD in 2006 from the University of Capetown. He has worked in many parts of the Turkana Basin. His main research interests are in the analysis of Pliocene and Pleistocene micromammals from Africa and their implications for reconstructing paleoenviroments during the course of hominid evolution.
Mark Maslin is Professor at Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London. Maslin is a leading palaeoclimatologist with particular expertise in past global and regional climatic change. His research interests include: the causes of past and future global climate change, ocean circulation, ice ages, gas hydrates, Amazonia, East Africa and human evolution. Of particular interest is the inter-action of local tectonics, orbital forcing and global climate transitions on the environment of East Africa and the evolution of early humans.
Marta Mirazón Lahr is Director of the Duckworth Laboratory and a Fellow of Clare College at Cambridge University. Her research covers two very different areas of biological anthropology – palaeoanthropology and human evolutionary ecology. Recent research concerns morphological and phylogenetic aspects of modern human diversity, based on analysis of recent and fossil skeletal material. She is also examining problems of human growth, nutrition, and development from an evolutionary perspective.
Kaye E. Reed is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Her main research interest is in the ecological context of primate and hominin evolution through identification and analyses of mammalian fauna and communities from Plio-Pleistocene hominin localities. Current field research is focused on hominin sites in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, and cave localities in Spain and Morocco.
G. Philip Rightmire is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at SUNY-Binghamton and an Associate of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. His research focuses on the evolution of the genus Homo, in particular the origin and dispersal of Homo erectus at the beginning of the Pleistocene and the ways in which this species was able to adapt to challenges posed by novel environments.
Hélène Roche is Directeur de recherche at the French CNRS and is responsible for the Mission Préhistorique Française au Kenya. She is co-P.I. for the West Turkana Archaeological Project (WTAP). Her field work is located in East Africa and her research activities are focused on Early Paleolithic and on the evolution of lithic technology, from its Pliocene beginning until the end of the Acheulean. In West Turkana these technical activities are put back in a well-defined chronological and paleoenvironmental frame, in order to evaluate the impact of global and regional climatic changes on biological and cultural evolution.
John Shea is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University. His research interests include paleolithic archaeology and paleoanthropology of the Near East, Africa, and Europe; early hominin adaptive radiations; origin of modern humans; Neandertals; lithic technology; and experimental archaeology. He has a specific interest in stone tools and other primitive tools, and he teaches a course in Primitive Technology which examines the technological adaptations of hunter-gatherer societies and their consequences for biological and behavioral evolution.
Matt Sponheimer’s research focuses on investigating the ecology of early hominins in Africa using biogeochemical methodologies. He is currently co-director of a multi-disciplinary project investigating the community paleoecology of Australopithecus africanus at Makapansgat Limeworks, South Africa, and co-director of a research group examining the neoecology of large mammals in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. His other projects include using heavy isotopes to investigate early hominin land use at Olduvai Gorge and the Sterkfontein Valley.
Randall Susman is Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. His research interests are in paleoanthropology of the earliest hominins and inferring behavioral pathways through studies of Australopithecus and early Homo, comparative and functional morphology, and the behavioral ecology of hominids from East and South Africa.
Phillip Tobias is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His researches have covered several fields, including genetics, physical anthropology, and the growth and ecology of living peoples of southern Africa. He is best known for his comprehensive researches on early hominids, especially of South and East Africa. He made the first monographic study of any of Africa’s australopithecines. His PhD students came to him from many parts of the world.
Peter Ungar is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas. His research focuses on reconstructing the feeding ecology of early hominins and other fossil primates. Of particular interest is the use of new technologies to understand relationships between diet in living primates, and their dental functional morphology and microwear.
Bernard Wood is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Origins and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. His research focuses on hominin dental morphology, on the development of quantitative methods for the recognition of taxa in the fossil record and for phylogeny reconstruction, and on ways to improve access to primary data about fossil hominins and closely related extant higher primates. He is also interested in the public dissemination of knowledge about human origins.