Events + Lectures
Upcoming Events + Lectures
Preserving the Search for Human Origins—Panel Discussion and Exhibition Opening
A public exhibition of especially interesting materials from the collection will be available for public viewing beginning March 21, 2013 in the Hayden Library Rotunda and Luhrs Gallery located on the 4th floor of Hayden Library. Bill Kimbel, Director of the Institute of Human Origins, Johanson, and Dan Gilfillan, Acting Director of the Institute for Humanities Research, will open a public panel discussion on March 21 at 3:30 p.m. in room C-6 of Hayden Library. The panel will also include guest commentators Jane Maienschein, Director of Center for Biology and Society, and project collaborators Nancy Dallett, Assistant Director, Public History Program in the School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies; Rob Spindler, University Archivist and Head of Archives and Special Collections, ASU Libraries; Richard Toon, Museum Studies Program Director, School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Panelists will discuss how this “hidden collection” was identified and assessed, the nature of collecting and collections, museum preservation concerns, and the importance of this collection in advancing scholarship in the history of science. After the panel, an exhibit opening reception will be held at the Luhrs Gallery on the 4th floor of Hayden Library.
ASU faculty and unit directors are encouraged to attend the panel discussion to consider what collections they or their colleagues might have that would be of value to scholars, what steps they can take to preserve and conserve them, and the role of the university in advocating for preservation of its own scholarship.
The opening event and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Julie Russ at 480-727-6571.
This event is supported by the Institute for Humanities Research, Institute of Human Origins, and School of Human Evolution and Social Change, units of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as well as University Libraries.
New! African Ceremonies Photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher Share 30 Years of Travels Across Africa
Thursday, October 25
Social Sciences #109
The Institute of Human Origins (IHO) is pleased to offer an opportunity for ASU students to see long-time IHO friends Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher present their “African Ceremonies” lecture as part of a visit for National Geographic Live!
IHO Founding Director Don Johanson has known Carol and Angela for many years and has traveled with them to view tribal ceremonies few people have been able to see. Their presentation is filled with photos and videos from their 30 years of travels across over 270,000 miles together, through remote corners of 40 countries and to more than 150 African cultures.
Students interested in anthropology, photography, or African studies, including African drumming, dance, and art, or just travel on the African continent are sure to find this hour engaging and fascinating.
This event is free and open to the public.
Archaeoinformatics applications at Pinnacle Point, South Africa for 3D data analysis, discovery, and dissemination
Oct 26 (Friday), Noon
Coor 5536 (see map)
Erich C. Fisher is a post-doctoral researcher at Arizona State University. He received his PhD in archaeology from the University of Florida in 2010 and he specializes in African Stone Age archaeology, 3D GIS, and archaeoinformatics. Equal parts field archaeologist and computer nerd, Erich spends half his time canvasing coastal South Africa and half his time developing empirical 3D models to test complex interdisciplinary research questions in paleoanthropology. He is also the co-field director for the SACP4 project, which is studying the Origins of Modern Humans in coastal South Africa, and he also directs the P5 project, which is studying the origins of coastal foraging in Pondoland, South Africa.
Exploring human origins—lecture series
Erella Hovers, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Friday, September 14, 2012
Wrigley Hall 481
Variability + Complexity: Making Sense of the Levantine Middle Paleolithic Record
The complex relationship between human biological and cultural evolution is exemplified by the late Middle and early Pleistocene record, when modern humans and Neandertals existed in the Old World. The ongoing paradigm change regarding the phylogeny, temporal, and spatial relationship of these two populations raises questions of the relationship between cultural variation and cultural change and the mechanisms that shape the trajectories of cultural evolution. The long research history of the Levant puts it in unique place to examine such questions. The talk uses empirical data from recent research, including fieldwork in Middle Paleolithic sites, to address questions about Neandertal and modern human lifeways in the region, how they were related to environmental constraints, and whether it is possible to formulate testable hypotheses about the role and nature of cultural transmission in shaping the archaeological record 250,000 to 50,000 years ago.
Erella Hovers has been directing field and laboratory research in Epi-Paleolithic and Middle Paleolithic sites in Israel. She excavated Amud Cave with Bill Kimbel (IHO) and Yoel Rak (Tel Aviv University) in 1991–1994. She has been part of IHO’s research project field sites excavating in Olduvai and Hadar, Ethiopia. She is currently conducting excavations and work in the late Middle Paleolithic open-air site of Ein Qashish. Hovers obtained her BA in geography and archaeology and PhD in prehistoric archaeology
(1998) from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and conducted postdoctoral work at Harvard University. She is currently a professor at Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Download a lecture poster pdf here.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DON JOHANSON?
2011–2012 30TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS
All events for IHO's 30th Anniversary have concluded. Thank you to all of our friends and supporters for making it an amazing year!
BECOMING HUMAN: 30 Years of Research and Discovery
IHO's 30th Anniversary calendar of events will end with two significant events—a Gala Dinner to celebrate this historic milestone with Founding Director Don Johanson as featured speaker, and a one-day Symposium featuring top experts in paleoanthropology to discuss the current state of research and the future of human origins research.
The Gala Dinner will be at the Phoenix Zoo on April 26, 2012. More information can be found at iho.asu.edu/gala.
The Symposium will be at Neeb Hall on April 27, 2012 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. More information is available at iho.asu.edu/symposium_2012.
Gala Dinner and Symposium wrap up Year of Celebration
Zeray Alemseged, Director and Curator of Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences, focuses on the discovery and interpretation of hominid fossil remains and their environments with emphasis on fieldwork designed to acquire new data on early hominid skeletal biology, environmental context, and behavior.
Robin Dunbar, University of Oxford, England, a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, whose work focuses on the evolution of sociality—social and behavioral decision making and cognitive underpinnings of social behavior.
Jean-Jacques Hublin, Max Planck Institute, Germany, Director of the Department of Human Evolution. Hublin has dedicated much of his career to the study of the biological and cultural evolution of Neandertals and to the origin of modern humans.
Michael Ruse, Florida State University, Professor, Philosophy of Biology, is well known for his work on the creationism/evolution controversy.
Ian Tattersall, Curator of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, New York. IHO Board Member and travel leader to Madagascar, he is a long-time scholar of human origins and the emergence of human cognition.
Carol Ward, Professor, Department of Pathology and Anatomical Science, University of Missouri. Evolution of humans and our closest relatives, apes, and monkeys.
Bernard Wood, Professor of Human Origins, The George Washington University. A medically qualified paleoanthropologist who practiced as a surgeon before moving into full-time academic life, Wood’s research centers on increasing our understanding of human evolutionary history.
ASU Institute of Human Origins Scientists
William Kimbel, Director and Professor. Plio-Pleistocene hominid evolution in Africa and the late Pleistocene of the Middle East.
Donald Johnson, Founding Director and Professor. His 1974 discovery of the world’s best-known 3.2-million-year-old fossil, “Lucy,” has become a cornerstone in human evolutionary studies.
Curtis Marean, Associate Director and Professor. Origins of modern humans, focusing on sites in South Africa.
Kaye Reed, Associate Professor. Ecological context of primate and hominin evolution.
Gary Schwartz, Associate Professor. Evolutionary history of primate and human growth and development as evidenced from developing tooth tissues.
Mark Spencer, Assistant Professor. The mechanics and evolution of the jaws and teeth in primates.
Chris Campisano, Assistant Professor. The environmental context of hominid evolution, specifically geology.
INSTITUTE OF HUMAN ORIGINS MUSEUM EXHIBITION
Museum of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution and Social Change
See more information at the Museum Exhibition website.
The exhibition closed December 2011. To read about the exhibition, go to ASU News.
30th Anniversary Lecture Series Concluded
Neandertals inhabited Western Eurasia from approximately 300- to 30-thousand years ago. They are distinguished by a unique combination of anatomical traits and are commonly associated with Middle Paleolithic lithic industries. Current consensus among paleoanthropologists is that they represent a separate Eurasian human lineage, which evolved in isolation and which shared a common ancestor with modern humans in the Middle Pleistocene. Some aspects of the distinctive Neandertal anatomy may have evolved in response to selection related to the extreme cold of the European glacial cycles, although genetic drift seems to be responsible for the evolution of many Neandertal characteristic features. Neandertals disappear from the fossil record ca. 30 ka BP, a few millennia after the arrival of modern humans in Europe, and the causes of their extinction are debated. The retrieval of ancient mitochondrial and, more recently, nuclear DNA from Neandertal fossils puts us in the unique position to combine fossil with genetic evidence to address questions about their evolution, paleobiology, and eventual fate.
Katerina Harvati is Professor of Paleoanthropology at the Institute for Early Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology, University of Tübingen. Her research focuses on Neandertal evolution, modern human origins, and the application of 3D geometric morphometrics and virtual anthropology to paleoanthropology.
Origins of Modern Humans
Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum London
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The evolution of the human lineage is inextricably linked to its material culture. Our ancestors have been making and using tools for over three million years. The relationship between human biological and cultural evolution is complex. The deep time of the archaeological record allows us to investigate the impact of ancient technology on our own evolutionary trajectory. Braun will review patterns of tool manufacture and use across the African continent based on his own fieldwork on sites that span the first million-and-a-half years of human technology. He explores how the ways in which early humans made stone artifacts may provide some basic parameters for the current technology driven human condition. To download a lecture poster, click here (pdf).
Leslie Aiello, President, Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Inc.
Thursday, October 6
Drawing on the fossil record and comparative evidence from humans and other living animals, it is becoming clear that cooperation must have evolved early and was one of the most important factors in the evolution of Homo.Through cooperation, hominins created their own niche within the changing landscape of early Africa, which in turn became essential to their survival, evolution, and ultimate expansion into the rest of the world.
Thursday, September 8
Terry Harrison is a professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of Human Origins at New York University. This lecture explores the inherent difficulties in identifying the earliest hominins and in drawing inferences about what they may have looked like. Harrison's research focuses on the evolutionary history of primates using the fossil evidence. He has conducted paleontological fieldwork in Europe, East Africa, and China. Currenly, he is the director of an international multidisciplinary field project at the Pliocene hominin locality of Laetoli in northern Tanzania.William McGrew
Primates and Human Origins Thursday, March 24, 2011
McGrew, a Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at University of Cambridge, UK, is the inaugural speaker for a lecture series celebrating IHO's 30th Anniversary. McGrew, a professor in primatology and author of the book, The Cultured Chimpanzee: Reflections on Cultural Primatology, has been chasing wild chimpanzees since 1972.
Peter deMenocal Climate and Human Evolution Friday, April 29, 2011 Peter deMencoal is a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He studies marine sediments to understand how and why past climates have changed, with a specific interest in placing contemporary climate change trends within the context of climate chanes during the prehistoric past. Current areas of research include stability of war cinate periods, African monsoonal climate, ancient cultural responses to rapid climate change, and the role of climate change in evolution of early human ancestors.
Previous Events + Lectures
EXPLORING HUMAN ORIGINS LECTURE: RICHARD COWLING
Friday, September 2
Mediterranean-type Ecosystems of the World: Evolution and Conservation of Biodiversity in Extra-Tropical Hotspots
Wrigley Hall, room 481 Richard Cowling is a professor in the Department of Botany, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, who is collaborating with scientists from the Institute of Human Origins in a project to try to understand the significance of the Cape Floral Region for human evolution. This presentation explores the historical determinants of the evolution of the world’s five Mediterranean-type ecosystems and discusses the implications of this for biodiversity conservation, focusing on the spectacularly diverse Cape Floral Region of South Africa. Cowling has published extensively in the scientific and popular literature on the ecology and conservation of Mediterranean-climate and arid biomes. He is widely acclaimed for his contribution to the theory and application of conservations science. The National Research Foundation has rated him as a world leader in conservation science, and he has been awarded a Pew Fellowship (USA), a Distinguished Service Award by the Society for Conservation Biology (USA), Cape Action for People and the Environment Gold Award for Innovating Conservation, a Flora Conservation Award by the Botanical Society of South Africa and is an Elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences USA. This event is cosponsored by Institute of Human Origins School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning School of Life Sciences Global Institute of Sustainability RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org (Lunch will be served.) This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available on ASU Tempe campus. Link to lecture webpage and poster pdf. Link to ASU events calendar listing.
>Kaye Reed was the Plenary Speaker November 5, 2010 at the Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists annual conference at Baylor University. For more information>>
The Great Debate: Can Science Tell Us Right from Wrong?
Saturday, November 6, 2010
ASU Gammage Auditorium
The ASU Origins Project, in cooperation with Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge
University, and the Science Network, are pleased to present The Great Debate.
Tickets go on sale September 30 at the ASU Gammage Auditorium box office and at Ticketmaster.com.
Tickets are $5 and $10 plus applicable service fees.
Monday and Tuesday, September 21, 2011: SHESC ColloqiumSee more information on the SHESC website, here.
September 20 Robert Boyd, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
The Cultural Niche
3:30 pm Discovery Hall 250
September 21 Joan B. Silk, Department of Anthropology & Center for Society and Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles
From Social Bonds to Altruistic Preferences: Tracing the Roots of Human Cooperation
3:30 pm Discovery Hall 150
Lecture by Biological Anthropologist and author Robert Boyd
Tuesday, September 21, 7:00 pm
Design North, CDN 60
Boyd argues that both our exceptional adaptability and our propensity for folly stem from the fact that humans, unlike any other animal, acquire important components of their behavior by observing the behavior of others. This ability allows us to rapidly evolve superb culturally transmitted adaptations to local conditions, but it also necessarily leads to the cultural evolution of maladaptive behavior. Link to ASU events page. Link to e-announcement. Link to ASU News
How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
“Who Are You Calling Neanderthal? Tracing Our Ancestors”
Friday, September 17, 5:30–6:30 pm:
Arizona Science Center: Science Cafe series features IHO Director Bill Kimbel and School of Human Evolution and Social Change Professor Anne Stone. Sponsored by ASU’s Center for Nanotechnology in Society, the series brings together members of the community and university scientists to discuss how science and technology can change the future. Stone and Kimbel will speak for 15–20 minutes, followed by a Q+A session with the public. For more information, visit www.azscience.org. ASU Events link
Late Lessons from Early History
presents Rainer Zahn, Catalan Institute of Research and Advance Studies, Barcelona, SpainTuesday, September 7, 5:30 pm
Discovery Hall 150, Tempe Campus
Professor Zahn will speak on "The Atlantic Overturning Circulation in a Changing World: Does the Agulhas Current Off Southern Africa (Yet Again) Decide the Fate of Human Development?" More information: http://asuevents.asu.edu/events/info?ID=5376
National Geographic Society Lecture, National Geographic, Washington, DC
Don Johanson/Lucy's Legacy: Lecture, book sale and book signing December 2, 2009
National Geographic Society Lecture, Las Vegas, NV
Don Johanson/Lecture and book signing: JW Marriott Resort and Spa at Summerlin, October 13, 2009
Lucy Comes to Times Square
Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) at Discovery Times Square Exposition, a facility located in New York City. The fossil, and over 100 cultural artifacts that compose Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia, were on display June 24, 2009–October 25, 2009.
The Institute's faculty helped Arizona State University launch its Origins Initiative, along with director Lawrence Krauss and other world-renowned scientists and researchers, April 3–6, 2009.
Lucy's Legacy (opens pdf file)
Don Johanson lectured at Porterville College March 20, 2009.
On the Origin of Our Species: Darwin and Human Evolution (opens pdf file)
As part of ASU's Darwinfest, Bernard Wood, university professor of human origins at George Washington University and adjunct senior scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, gave a public lecture on Darwin and human evolution. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion including noted physical anthropologists Don Johanson and Bill Kimbel. Mark Spencer, a physical anthropologist in ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the Institute of Human Origins, served as panel moderator. The lecture and discussion 3:00–5:30 pm, Monday, February 9, 2009, Memorial Union, Pima Room.
Darwin Today: Evolution and Scientific Thought
One-day symposium at the University of Southern California featuring Don Johanson, Eugenie Scott, Steve Finkel, David Bottjer, and Craig Stanford.