Evolutionary Anthropology

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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 via drilling in East Africa and performing various analyses on the resulting sediment cores.


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 origins of the modern human lineage. 

Chimp family

Chimpanzees of Gombe Genetic Analyses

This project involves the genetic analyses of the skeletons of 22 individual chimpanzees who died between 1966 and 1987. These chimpanzees were studied by primatologists, including Dr. Jane Goodall, prior to the common use of genetic testing.

Pinnacle Point on South African Coast

Simulating Glacial Climate in Coastal South Africa: Developing the Climate Parameters to Model a Paleoscope During Modern Human Origins

This project allows for climate modeling that produces “hind-casts” of the South African Cape climate during a glacial phase in the deep human past. The effort supports attempts at long-term climate forecasting by providing the background and paleo-models against which to test future projections. 

Volcanic erruption

Collaborative Research: Development and Application of Cryptotephra Studies to Resolve Debates over Chronology in Modern Human Origins Research in South Africa

In this project, researchers will apply a new dating method using volcanic ash to determine when a suite of uniquely human features first appeared in our evolutionary history and thus help us understand when, where and why our species evolved. 

Mother and baby lemurs

People, Primates and Pathogens: The Evolution of a Global Emergency and the Future of Conservation and Public Health Efforts

This project investigates the infectious disease exchange between human and nonhuman primates using two mycobacterial diseases – tuberculosis and leprosy – as case studies.

Illustration of doctor checking patient's throat

Neuromuscularly Controlled In Vivo Canine Larynx: A New Experimental Platform to Study Neurogenic Voice Disorders

The long-term goal of this collaborative ASU-Mayo Clinic project is to develop new techniques of functional electrical stimulation to accurately and reproducibly control the state of all the intrinsic laryngeal muscles involved in producing voice. 

TB mycobacterium

An Investigation of the Evolutionary History of Tuberculosis Using Ancient DNA

The goal of this project is to analyze ancient DNA from skeletal samples dating before, during and after the “Age of Exploration” that show evidence of tubercular bone lesions and integrate these data with those of modern strains of tuberculosis to assess the evolutionary history of tuberculosis and its effects on human history.

Student researcher at Mossel Bay

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 region.