Geoinformatics-based data integration for the study of pliocene fossil-bearing strata of the Hadar Basin

IHO is pioneering a cyberinfrastructure of field data, computer hardware and software, and GIS visualization technology to modernize field-data collection and scientific hypothesis-testing at fossil- and artifact-bearing sites. Collaboration with ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental context of the origins of modern humans in South Africa

Paleoclimatic and Paleoenvironmental Context of the Origins of Modern Humans in South Africa, which, through exploration, excavation, and cutting-edge lab analysis, is developing the first continuous sequence of African environmental change from 400 to 30 kyr ago—a period of profound climatic oscillation and evolutionary innovation in the human lineage.

Mossel Bay Archaeology

Mossel Bay Archaeology Project is a long-term field study of the Middle Stone Age of southern Africa shedding light on the early occurrence of modern human behavior, such as symbolic expression, the strategic exploitation of marine food resources, and the early use of fire to improve the quality of stone-tool flaking.

Ledi-Geraru Research

Plio-Pleistocene hominin site in Ethiopia. Recovery of hominin fossils and preliminary identification of the time range of the deposits and evidence, and understanding the depositional environments and fossil distribution of the center of Paleolake, Hadar.

Hadar, Ethiopia

Addresses the early evolution and ecological variation of Australopithecus (3.0–3.4 myr) and the origin of Homo and stone-tool making (2.3 myr). In 2007, this field project began to operate as ASU’s Hadar Field School, which has in three field seasons enrolled 46 undergraduates from ASU and other universities across the U.S. in a rigorous semester-abroad curriculum on field methods in human origins research.

Collective Action

Project 11 tests competing hypotheses about the development of large networks of cooperation in a mid-size human society (the Turkana). The outcome of these projects will be improved understanding of how and under what conditions traditional human societies cooperate. Such understanding opens pathways to the archaeological record, in which the record of technological innovation can serve as a proxy for complex cooperative behavior.