Experts to lecture in US cities this spring about new human origins research

02/25/04

Leakey Foundation's 2004 Speaker Series to reveal latest discoveries in human origins research

Should we follow Atkins or Pritikin to eat well and live right? How did sunlight effect skin coloration? Why and how did we begin to walk upright?

The Leakey Foundation has joined forces with scientific organizations across the US to present the 2004 Speaker Series on Human Origins which will attempt to answer these questions with new evidence and theories.

The 2004 series will feature the latest discoveries and developments in Neandertal research, human physiology, archeology and hunter-gatherer studies. The Speaker Series on Human Origins is produced in collaboration with local partners in seven cities. This year, The Leakey Foundation welcomes four new collaborators to the Series - the American Museum of Natural History, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Colorado College and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

"With this series of lectures, The Leakey Foundation continues Louis Leakey's vision of exploring human origins through a multi-disciplinary science," said Kay Woods, President of The Leakey Foundation. "The featured speakers strive to understand human ancestors and the ecology of their times, their biology, and their culture, as well as the behavior of our closest living relatives, the great apes. "

The 2004 Speaker Series on Human Origins:

Feb 25
Richard Potts: "How the Hand-Axe Shaped Our Past"
Presented by: California Institute of Technology/Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Location: Pasadena, CA

Feb 26
Richard Potts: "How the Hand-Axe Shaped Our Past"
Presented by California Academy of Sciences at the Jewish Community Center
Location: San Francisco, CA

March 23
Margaret Schoeninger: "Living off the Land: Early Hominid Diets"
Presented by Colorado College
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

March 25
Fred Spoor: "Species Diversity in Human Origins"
Presented by California Academy of Sciences
Location: Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, CA

March 30
Craig Stanford: "Walking Upright"
Presented by Houston Museum of Natural Science
Location: Houston, TX

April 7
Berhane Asfaw: "Ethiopia's Evidence: The Transition from Australopithecus to Homo"
Presented by: California Institute of Technology/Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Location: Pasadena, CA

April 22
Leslie Aiello: "Life in the Ice Age"
Presented by the American Museum of Natural History
Location: New York City, NY

April 27
Ian Tattersall: "Becoming Human"
Presented by Houston Museum of Natural Science
Location: Houston, TX

April 29
Nina G. Jablonski: "The Evolution of Human Skin Coloration"
Presented by California Academy of Sciences
Location: Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, CA

May 4
Craig Stanford: "Walking Upright"
Presented by Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Location: Denver, CO

May 11
Craig Stanford: "Walking Upright"
Presented by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Location: Chicago, IL

May 19
Nina G. Jablonski: "The Evolution of Human Skin Coloration"
Presented by: California Institute of Technology/Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Location: Pasadena, CA

About the Speakers

-Richard Potts heads the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. His primary research is on the ecological dimensions of human evolution and he currently excavates at field sites in Kenya and China spanning the past six million years.

- Margaret J. Schoeninger is Professor of Anthropology at UCSD and a Research Archaeologist in the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University. Her major interest is in the Evolution of Human Diet, particularly as it informs our understanding of the appearance and evolution of the human lineage.

- Fred Spoor is Professor of Evolutionary Anatomy at University College London. In his research he collaborates closely with Meave Leakey and Louise Leakey of the National Museums of Kenya, studying human fossils newly found in the Lake Turkana region. This work resulted in the announcement in 2001 of a new genus of human ancestor, Kenyanthropus platyops.

- Craig Stanford is Professor of Anthropology and Biology at the University of Southern California, and is co-director of the Jane Goodall Research Center. He has conducted field studies of great apes in Africa for the past 15 years, and is best known for his research on the hunting and meat-eating behavior of wild chimpanzees.

- Berhane Asfaw is Co-Director, with Dr. Tim White, of the Middle Awash Research Project and former Director of the National Museum of Ethiopia. He made international headlines in June 2003 when he and Tim White announced the discovery of the oldest, most complete skulls (about 160,000 years old) of modern Homo sapiens ever unearthed.

- Leslie Aiello heads the Anthropology Department at University College London. Her current interests include the broader issues of evolutionary theory, life history, the evolution of the brain and cognition. Aiello's recent research addressed on the post-cranial evolution and adaptation of the Plio-Pleistocene hominids.

- Ian Tattersall is currently Curator in the Department of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Tattersall is also a prominent interpreter of human paleontology to the public, with several recent trade books to his credit.

- Nina Jablonski is the Irvine Chair and Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences. She is also a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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