Paleoanthropology

Collaborative Research: Development and Application of Cryptotephra Studies to Resolve Debates over Chronology in Modern Human Origins Research in South Africa
An international team of scientists led by geologist Eugene Smith of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Arizona State University anthropologist Curtis Marean will apply a new dating method to... (more)
Developing and Testing an Integrated Paleoscape Model for the early Middle and Late Pleistocene of the South Coast of South Africa
This research examines the coupled response of people and the environment in the Cape Floral region on the south coast of Africa to major fluctuations in global climate change during the time of the... (more)
Earth System Dynamics and its Role in Human Evolution in Africa
Paleoanthropologists and earth scientists will collaborate to investigate the impacts of Earth system dynamics in our deep human past. This project will involve collecting paleoenvironmental records... (more)
Geoinformatics-Based Data Integration for Study of the Pliocene Fossil-Bearing Strata of the Hadar Basin (Afar, Ethiopia)
Understanding the relative roles of internal and external ecological, climatological, and tectonic forcings in the evolution of Australopithecus afarensis at Hadar, Ethiopia, requires integration of... (more)
Hominid Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: Acquiring a High Resolution Paleoenvironmental Context of Human Evolution
Understanding whether and how earth system processes impacted human evolution is an enduring geoscientific challenge that generates broad interest among scientists and the general public. A recent... (more)
Integrating Developmental Morphogenetic Theory and Dental Biodistance Practices
Vertebrate evolutionary history has been largely reconstructed on the basis of fossil teeth. The same may be said for primate evolution, including inferences from hominin and human paleontology.... (more)
Integrative Analysis of Hominid Feeding Biomechanics
This project examines the mechanics of primate and early hominid feeding within the context of hypotheses about australopithecine diets. Specifically, it tests the hypothesis that derived... (more)
Ledi-Geraru Research Project
The Ledi-Geraru research area is positioned between the Awash and Ledi River basins in northeastern Ethiopia. The fossil exposures are found directly east and somewhat north of the Hadar site. Early... (more)
Mossel Bay Archaeology Project
The Mossel Bay Archaeology Project (MAP), led by Curtis W. Marean (ASU) and Peter Nilssen (Iziko South African Museums), is a long-term field study of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in the Mossel Bay... (more)
Paleoanthropological Investigation of the Ledi-Geraru Hominin Site (Afar, Ethiopia)
Australopithecus afarensis shows a well-documented pattern of morphological change at the Hadar site immediately before the last appearance date (LAD) of the species (~2.9 Ma). Soon after the LAD of... (more)
Paleobiogeography, Paleoecology and Continued Investigation of a Diverse, Terminal Miocene, Primate-Bearing Fauna from Southern China
The period spanning the late Miocene through the early Pliocene, from 8-4 million years ago, witnessed great changes in terrestrial environments throughout the world as the result of changes in... (more)
Paleoclimatic and Paleoenvironmental Context of the Origins of Modern Humans in South Africa
Modern humans likely evolved in Africa between 300,000 and 100,000 years ago. It is well documented that the bio-behavioral adaptations of fully modern hunter-gatherers are intimately tied to climate... (more)
Simulating Glacial Climate in Coastal South Africa: Developing the Climate Parameters to Model a Paleoscope During Modern Human Origins
Using the supercomputing resources of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, this project allows for climate modeling that produces “hind-casts” of the South African Cape climate... (more)