Thank you for your interest in IHO science, research, and outreach!
To view this email as a web page, go here.

Season's Greetings and
Best Wishes for the New Year!

December 2017 vol 1.1

We are grateful to everyone who has helped support IHO’s programs through annual gifts to our operating fund, direct support of our research, investment in our long-term success through endowment gifts and bequests, or participation in one of our wonderful international tour programs. It is the broad support from many sources that enables IHO researchers to push forward on the fundamental question about our origin—How did we become human?

While we continue to have the backing of ASU for our faculty and facilities, our research, training, and outreach programs rely more than ever on the generosity of donors whose passion for human origins creates the strong “public-private partnership” we enjoy with the university.

Please consider the opportunities that your end-of-the-year gift will provide for future research and discovery and join the quest for our origins by supporting IHO with your generous charitable gift. Please give securely online at

Featured stories

Articles highlighting news, partnerships, and research

Anthropology Program Top Ranked

Each year, the National Science Foundation surveys U.S. institutions of higher learning on separately accounted for research expenditures. In the just-released Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey for 2016, ASU’s anthropology program ranked number one!

In addition, the anthropology program was ranked number one in the United States and number four in the world by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). IHO scientists are the core faculty in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change’s (SHESC) evolutionary anthropology program and bring the highest level of research and teaching to the school’s excellent reputation. IHO is honored to be a part of this recognition for excellence, along with our colleagues in SHESC.

Image: IHO Research Associate Chris Campisano leads a group of students in the field in Hadar, Ethiopia. Image credit: Benjamin Reed.

Sarah Mathew with Turkana

2017 Year-end Research Review

Each year, IHO publishes a year-end research review, which is mailed to friends and supporters. We hope that you have received this annual look at the engaging research and global reach of IHO's efforts to understanding how we "became human" in your postal mail box.

If you have not received a copy or would like a printed copy, please email Julie Russ at with your mailing address, and we will be happy to mail one out to you.

To read the 2017 year-end highlights online, click here.

Image: IHO Research Affiliate Sarah Mathew in the field with Turkana community members.

Primates and Paleoanthropology—A once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Are you ready for a real adventure that is more than just viewing wild animals from a platform or landrover? This is the trip for you!

Follow long-time chimpanzee researcher Ian Gilby through the forest at arguably the world’s most famous chimpanzee research site—the Gombe Stream Research Center, founded by Jane Goodall in 1965.

Then, experience the quintessential African animal reserve at the Ngorongoro Crater and visit Olduvai Gorge—one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world. End the trip in Rwanda in search of gorillas at the famed Dian Fossey reserve and trek to find endangered golden monkeys.

You won't find a trip of this depth and immersion in understanding our closest primate cousins offered anywhere else. We have a limit on the number of travelers for this adventure—Do not miss this opportunity!

Travel + Learn—More information

New publications

The newest developments in human origins science from IHO
(IHO-related researchers in bold; a subscription is required to access the full article) 

A Different Kind of Animal: How Culture Transformed Our Species Robert Boyd Princeton University Press, October 2017
In this new book, Boyd posits that humans have evolved to become the most dominant species on Earth through a unique combination of cultural adaptation and large-scale cooperation. 

Facing the facts: The Runx2 gene is associated with variation in facial morphology in primates Terrence B. Ritzman et al, and Anne C. Stone Journal of Human Evolution October 2017
Female–male relationships influence the form of female–female relationships in olive baboons, Papio Anubis JB Silk, ER Roberts, BJ Barrett, SK Patterson, SC Strum Animal Behavior September 2017
Comparison of two ancient DNA extraction protocols for skeletal remains from tropical environments Maria A. Nieves-Colon, Andrew T. Ozga, et al and Anne C. Stone bioRxiv September 2017
Predation by female chimpanzees: Toward an understanding of sex differences in meat acquisition in the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo Ian C. Gilby et al Journal of Human Evolution September 2017
The trajectory of bone surface modification studies in paleoanthropology and a new Bayesian solution to the identification controversy Jacob A. Harris, Curtis W. Marean, Kiona Ogle, Jessica Thompson Journal of Human Evolution September 2017
Early foraging settlement of the Tibetan Plateau highlands David B Madsen, Charles Perreault, David Rhode, Yongjuan Sun, Mingjie Yi, Katherine Brunson, P. Jeffrey Brantingham Archaeological Research in Asia September 2017
Chronometric investigations of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in the Zagros Mountains using AMS radiocarbon dating and Bayesian age modelling Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, Katerina Douka, Daniel Comeskey, Behrouz Bazgirb, Nicholas J. Conard, Curtis W. Marean, Andreu Ollé, Marcel Ott, Laxmi Tumung, Mohsen Zeidi, Thomas F.G. Higham Journal of Human Evolution August 2017
Further human fossils from the Middle Stone Age deposits of Die Kelders Cave 1, Western Cape Province, South Africa
Frederick E. Grine, Curtis W. Marean, J. Tyler Faith, Wendy Black, Carrie S. Mongle, Erik Trinkaus, Stephan G. le Roux, Anton du Plessis Journal of Human Evolution August 2017
Persistant anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest Constanze Hoffman et al, including Kevin Langergraber Nature
August 2017

Featured events

Events for anyone with an interest in learning about human origins
Photo of a Chimpanzee

Rise of the Warrior Apes

Thursday, February 15, 2018
5:30 to 8:00 pm
Marsten Theater, ISTB4, ASU Tempe Campus

IHO Research Affiliate Kevin Langergraber was a featured researcher in the film, Rise of the Warrior Apes, which won the 2017 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival award for Best Animal Behavior Film. IHO will screen the film at the ASU Marsten Theater with a talk by Langergraber about his research at the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project in Kibale National Park, Uganda, before the screening.

Reserve your free tickets

The Pensive Primate: Emergence of Modern Human Cognition
Ian Tattersall PhD
Emeritus Curator, American Museum of Natural History

Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Marsten Theater, ISTB4
ASU Tempe Campus

Refreshments at 6:00 pm
Lecture at 6:30 pm

How did modern humans acquire a unique style of thinking? How did we manage to dominate the planet while other human species went extinct?

Reserve your free tickets
Photo of Ian Tattersall

Noted and quoted

IHO science coverage and expertise in the media

Year in the Field: Joel Bray
Joel Bray is an IHO-affiliated graduate student studying chimpanzee behavior at the Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania. Bray is being advised by Ian Gilby, who is the codirector of the Gombe Research Database. Follow his year in the field on IHO's Instagram @human_origins_asu.

First humans in Australia: A journey of discovery
The first humans arrived in Australia some 15,000 years ago. N
ew evidence of this was detailed in the journal Nature with a related "Nature: News & Views"  piece by IHO Associate Director Curtis Marean—both covered by Newsweek quoted Marean reminding us that  Australia "could reveal many other secrets" about human colonization and its impact on the environment. "From that launch pad," he writes, "perhaps some of them envisaged other lands across the water that they could not see . . . to embark on a journey of discovery."

Of interest 

Top stories from around ASU

ASU moves up in NSF research rankings

Arizona State University ranks ninth out of 719 universities in the U.S. for research expenditures for institutions of higher education without a medical school, up one spot from last year, in the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development rankings. This year's rankings puts ASU ahead of CalTech, Carnegie Mellon, and Princeton for institutions without a medical school. Read more.

ASU Foundation awarded top ranking by Charity Navigator

For the sixth time, the ASU Foundation for A New American University was awarded the top rating by Charity Navigator, one of the nation’s leading independent nonprofit evaluator. Charity Navigator’s four-star rating, the highest possible, is reserved for exceptional organizations that exceed industry standards and outperform most charities. It is based on rigorous analysis of each group’s financial health, accountability and transparency, and results reporting.

Click to visit the Institute of Human Origins website
A research center of the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
YouTube YouTube

Give to the Institute of Human Origins

An investment in the Institute of Human Origins helps to fund student scholarships, support research in laboratories and field sites, and meet the growing needs of our researchers and students. Please help us continue the search!
Donate now
ASU Institute of Human Origins
P.O. Box 874101, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4101, USA