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Olorgesailie Field Team 2011

Meet the Research Team

Since 1985, researchers from diverse fields have come to Olorgesailie, Kenya, through the collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museums of Kenya, in an effort to better understand the habitat in which our early human ancestors evolved. An understanding of habitat, and human interaction with it, is crucial to the better understanding of what it is that makes us human.

This section is intended to give you the opportunity to get to know the lives and interests of the people who make up our research team.


Portrait of Anna K. ("Kay") Behrensmeyer.

Anna K. ("Kay") Behrensmeyer

Kay is a Research Curator in the NMNH Department of Paleobiology, co-directs the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program, and studies geological context at Olorgesailie.

Portrait of Alison Brooks

Alison Brooks

Alison is a paleoanthropologist and Paleolithic archaeologist who has worked at numerous localities in Africa and in northern China.

Portrait of Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark

Jenny's official title is Museum Specialist, but she’s really a generalist; she does lab management, administration, logistics, photography, illustration, and research.

Portrait of paleoanthropologist Rick Potts.

Rick Potts

Paleoanthropologist Rick Potts is the director of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program and curator of anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History.

Portrait of John Yellen.

John Yellen

John's research focuses on the processes which led to the emergence of behaviorally modern humans.