Director, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Bernard Comrie’s main interests are language universals and typology, historical linguistics (including in particular the use of linguistic evidence to reconstruct aspects of prehistory), linguistic fieldwork, and languages of New Guinea and of the North Caucasus. His publications include Aspect (1976), Language Universals and Linguistic Typology (1981/1989), Tense (Cambridge, 1985), The Russian Language in the Twentieth Century (co-authored, 1996), and The Dictionary of Languages and Dialects of the Peoples of the Northern Caucasus (co-authored, 2010). He is also editor of The World’s Major Languages (1987/2009) and co-editor of The Slavonic Languages (1993), The World Atlas of Language Structures (2005), Studies in Ditransitive Constructions (2010), and New Perspectives on the Origin of Language (2013).
Senior Investigator, Language and Genetics Department,
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Dr. Dediu was born in Romania and developed an interest in computing early in his childhood. He earned a joint degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Bucharest and subsequently pursued studies in psychology and biology. He received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on the correlation between genetic and linguistic diversity in human evolution. Dr. Dediu uses a variety of methods, including computer models, phylogenetic approaches, statistical techniques, and experiments to study the genetic bases of language and speech, and their interaction with cultural processes. He currently investigates the patterns of variation in vocal tract anatomy and their influence on language and speech.
Convenor and Senior Lecturer, Masters of Archaeological Science Program, College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian
Dr. Denham studied at Cambridge, Penn State, and Australian National University. As a geoarchaeologist, he draws on the disciplines of geomorphology, palaeoecology, sedimentology, and soil science to augment our understanding of archaeological sites. He has studied fishpond aquaculture in Hawai`i, early agriculture at Kuk Swamp (New Guinea), and Pleistocene palaeosurfaces at Lake Mungo (Australia), among others. He is interested in how human-environment interactions in the past can be used to better understand environmental problems in the present/future. Denham’s PhD research clarified that the highlands of New Guinea were a location of early agriculture and plant domestication. Since then he has investigated the socio-environmental implications of early agriculture on New Guinea and Island Southeast Asia and has become particularly interested in the domestication of vegetatively propagated food plants in the wet tropics, especially bananas (Musa cvs). He also works in multi-disciplinary teams comprised of archaeologists, geneticists and linguists to re-examine the cultural associations of Austronesian language dispersal from Taiwan, the social significance of the Lapita phenomenon, and plant exploitation practices in northern Australia.
Professor, Associate Director, Center for the Study of the
First Americans, Texas A & M University
Dr. Goebel is known for his expertise in First American studies and lithic analysis. Goebel has worked on many early sites in Russia and the United States. From 2000-2009 he directed excavations at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter (Nevada) and other Paleoindian sites in the Great Basin, and in 2007 he initiated a new research program investigating the Ice Age colonization of the Bering Land Bridge area - Alaska and northeast Asia. In 2009-2010 the Beringia program focused on excavation of the Serpentine Hot Springs fluted point site (Alaska), production of the boand survey for new sites in different area of Alaska. Goebel advised graduate students investigating a wide range of topics including Clovis technology in the American Southeast, the stemmed-point complex of the intermountain west during the terminal Pleistocene, fluted point technology in the north, and human settlement of central Alaska's uplands. In 2011 and 2012 Goebel is a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer.
Professor, School of Archaeology, and Deputy Director,
Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford
Prof. Higham has more than 20 years experience in radiocarbon dating and coordinates the archaeological dating programs in the Radiocarbon Unit in Oxford. Higham is interested in sample pretreatment chemistry methods, Bayesian statistical modelling, dating of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic period in Eurasia and applying the latest radiocarbon techniques to the archaeological record. His work has been critical in improving radiocarbon dating techniques and expanding its range into the distant past and, by doing so, revolutionizing our knowledge about the date of the earliest humans in Europe.
Professor of Anthropology, and Dean, Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon
Dr. Hunt earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo; a Master's degree from the University of Auckland, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington. As an archaeologist, Hunt’s research and teaching focus on historical environmental change and life on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. He has conducted archaeological research in the Pacific Islands for more than thirty years, with extensive work in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Over the past twelve years, Dr. Hunt has directed archaeological field research on Easter Island, where he and his students work on many aspects of the island's prehistoric past, including questions concerning the trajectory of cultural and ecological changes and the role of the colossal statues and monuments in ancient society.
Curator of Anthropology, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History,
and Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology,
University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. Johnson has served as Curator of Anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History since 1986. He obtained his Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His career has been devoted to understanding the culture and history of the Chumash Indians and their neighbors in south central California through the study of archaeology, archival records, interviews with contemporary Native Americans and DNA research. Since 1999, he has lead a team investigating the earliest evidence for people in our region at the Arlington Springs Site on Santa Rosa Island dating to 13,000 years BP.
Reader in the Department of Archaeology, Member of the
Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution Research (BEER) Centre, and
Member of the Centre for the Coevolution of Biology and Culture,
Durham University, UK.
Dr. Larson received his bachelor's degree in 1996 from Claremont McKenna College, a small liberal arts college in California. He read just about everything Stephen J Gould ever wrote over the following three years while he wandered the deserts of Turkmenistan and worked for an environmenal consultancy in Azerbaijan. Deciding that evolution was cooler than oil, Greger studied at Oxford and the University of Colorado before receiving his PhD in Zoology in 2006. He then spent two years in Uppsala, Sweden on an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship before starting a job in the department of archaeology at Durham University where he is now a Reader. Greger has just started an ERC starting investigator grant to continue his focus on the use of ancient DNA to study the pattern and process of domestication and rarely wonders what his salary would be had he stuck to oil.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois,
Dr. Malhi received his doctorate from the University of California studying DNA diversity among contemporary and ancient populations in North America. He continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School in the Department of Human Genetics. After his postdoctoral training Dr. Malhi co-founded and served as the CEO of Trace Genetics, Inc., a biotechnology company located in San Francisco. Following the acquisition of Trace Genetics, Inc., Dr. Malhi served as the Research Director for DNAPrint Genomics, Inc. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2006. His research interests include using DNA analysis to infer the evolutionary history of Native Americans. Dr. Malhi currently directs the Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics (SING), a workshop to increase interest of Native American students in the sciences.
Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change,
and Associate Director of the Institute of Human Origins,
Arizona State University
Dr. Marean’s research interests focus on the origins of modern humans, the prehistory of Africa, the study of animal bones from archaeological sites, and climates and environments of the past. In the area of the origins of modern humans, he is particularly interested in questions about foraging strategies and the evolution of modern human behavior. He has a special interest in human occupation of grassland and coastal ecosystems.
Marean conducts a variety of studies using zooarchaeology, the study of animal bones, and taphonomy, the study of how bones become fossils. He also is a dedicated field researcher and has conducted fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, and Somalia, and since 1991 has focused his field efforts in coastal South Africa. He is the principal investigator for the South African Coast Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology (SACP4) project based around Mossel Bay in South Africa at the field locality of Pinnacle Point. This large international project, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Hyde Family Foundation, employs a trans-disciplinary approach to modern human origins, climate, and environment. Under his directorship, Pinnacle Point has become one of the world’s most important localities for the study of modern human origins.
Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory, Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University
Dr. Meltzer began in archaeology as a 15-year old high school student excavating at the Thunderbird Paleoindian site near Front Royal (VA). He received his undergraduate education in Anthropology with a minor in Soils at the University of Maryland and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle. Meltzer researches the origins, antiquity, and adaptations of the first Americans who colonized the North American continent at the end of the Ice Age. He focuses on how these hunter-gatherers met the challenges of moving across and adapting to the vast, ecologically diverse landscape during a time of significant climate change. This research has had many facets (and embroiled him in many controversies!), including efforts to understand the climate and environments of the late Ice Age, the role of lanscape learning and demographics in colonizing new worlds, the investigation of the possible role of early Americans in Pleistocene faunal extinctions, and even the history of how these topics have been understood within the archaeological communicty. He has conducted archaeological field work in many areas, but primarily on the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of western North America. He is the author of numerous publications, including Folsom: new archaeological investigations of a classic Paleoindian bison kill (2006), and First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America (2009). Meltzer is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Emerita, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and
Affiliate Professor Emerita, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Nichols received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has focused on the Slavic languages, the linguistic prehistory of northern Eurasia, language typology, ancient linguistic prehistory, and the languages of the Caucasus, chiefly Chechen and Ingush. Nichol’s best known work, Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time, won the Linguistic Society of America’s Leonard Bloomfield Book Award. Nichols remains on active duty in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Anthropology,
University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Dr. O’Connell was educated at the University of California at Berkeley and held academic appointments at UC Riverside and the Australian National University before joining the Utah faculty in 1978. He has conducted ethnographic and archaeological research in Australia, East Africa, and western North America, all with an emphasis on problems in human ecology and evolution. His current work focuses on the early human history of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea). O’Connell is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Professor of Human Evolution and Prehistory, Senior Research
Fellow and Co-Director of the Centre for Asian Archaeology,
Art & Culture, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford,
and Senior Research Fellow, Linacre College (Oxford), and
Research Associate in the Human Origins Program,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Petraglia received his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1987. He received a Smithsonian postdoctoral fellowship in 1988, and he has been associated with the Human Origins Program since its inception. From 2001-2009 he was a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include modern human origins, palaeolithic archaeology, lithic technology, evolution of cognition and out of Africa dispersals. His primary regions of research are the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent. He recently received a $3.25 m grant from the European Research Council to carry out a 5 year, interdisciplinary research project in Saudi Arabia, entitled: The Palaeodeserts Project: Climate Change and Hominin Evolution in the Arabian Desert. He is currently co-editing a book for Cambridge University Press, entitled: "From Colonisation to Globalisation: Species Movements in Human History".
Professor of Anthropology, Stony Brook University
Dr. Shea received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the archaeology of human origins and spans the length of the Paleolithic period. His interests include early hominid adaptive radiations, the origin of Homo sapiens, the extinction of the Neandertals, and the end of the Later Stone Age in Africa. He has worked in Israel, Jordan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia and Kenya. Shea is an expert flintknapper and skilled replicator of primitive technologies. He uses the results of stone knapping and tool use experiments to improve archaeological methods for reconstructing human behavior through the analysis of stone tools. Shea’s most recent research in this area focuses on the origins of stone projectile point technology.
Group Leader, Human Population History Group, Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and Honorary Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Leipzig
Mark Stoneking received his PhD in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986. After postdoctoral work at Berkeley he held research scientist positions at the Human Genome Center at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and at the Cetus Corporation. He joined the faculty of the anthropology department at The Pennsylvania State University as an assistant professor in 1990, rising to associate professor in 1994 and full professor in 1998. In 1999 he left Penn State for the newly-established Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where he supervises the Human Population History Group and is Honorary Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His research interests involve using molecular genetic methods to address questions of anthropological interest concerning the origins, migrations, and relationships of human populations, and the influence of selection during human evolution.
Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for the Study
of the First Americans, and Executive Director of the North Star Archaeological Research Program, Texas A&M University.
Dr.Waters is known for his expertise in First American studies and geoarchaeology. Waters has worked on more than sixty archaeological field projects in the United States, Mexico, Russia, Jamaica, and Yemen. His current research projects include the Debra L. Friedkin Site, Texas; Hogeye Clovis Cache site, Texas; Coats-Hines Mastodon site, Tennessee; Page-Ladson site, Florida; and the Hueyatlaco site, Mexico. He has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles and book chapters and is the author of Principles of Geoarchaeology: A North American Perspective. Waters and his colleagues also recently published Clovis Lithic Technology: Investigation of a Stratified Workshop at the Gault Site, Texas in 2011. This book provides a comprehensive study of a Clovis workshop where stone tools were made 13,000 years ago. Waters received the 2003 Kirk Bryan Award and the 2004 Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award given by the Geological Society of America. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2004.
Professor, Director, Center for GeoGenetics, and Director,
National CryoBank and Sequencing Facility, University of Copenhagen
Dr. Willerslev (EW) is director of Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics and the National CryoBank and Sequencing Facility, situated at the National History Museum and the Biological Institute, University of Copenhagen. The centre currently facilitates 60 people. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Willerslev established the first ancient DNA facility in Denmark, which rapidly became internationally recognized for establishing the fields of ancient sedimentary and ice core genetics. After finishing his PhD Willerslev obtained a prestigious Wellcome Trust Fellowship to join the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, UK. Recently, Willerslev was called back to the University of Copenhagen to commence the position of Full Professor, first at the Niels Bohr Institute and later at the National History Museum and Biological Institute.