Paleoanthropology is inherently interdisciplinary, with scientists specializing in a wide variety of research topics.
Meet the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program scientific team, and learn about the research projects and other activities that we're involved in.
Paleoanthropologist Rick Potts is the director of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program and curator of anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History.
Jenny's official title is Museum Specialist, but she’s really a generalist; she does lab management, administration, logistics, photography, illustration, and research.
Briana's research centers on the evolution of human meat-eating, but has included topics as diverse as cannibalism in the Cook Islands and chimpanzee carnivory.
Matt’s main research interests surround the evolutionary history and functional morphology of the human and great ape family, the Hominidae.
Zelalem’s research interest include the later prehistory of the horn of Africa and the applications of geospatial information sciences in archaeological investigations.
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.
Alison is a paleoanthropologist and Paleolithic archaeologist who has worked at numerous localities in Africa and in northern China.
Bill is a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History within the Division of Petrology and Volcanology.
Julio is an active fieldworker and has conducted survey and excavation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Mozambique.
Mike has conducted archaeological research in the Indian subcontinent, and more recently in the Arabian peninsula.
Christian's research explores the behavioral evolution of Middle and Later Pleistocene hominins and the origin of Homo sapiens.
Bernard is the Director of the George Washington University's Hominid Paleobiology Graduate program and of the Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology.
John's research focuses on the processes which led to the emergence of behaviorally modern humans.
Grace’s interests focus on the origins of modern human behavior, paleolithic archaeology, and the dispersal of early Homo.
Emily Goble Early's research focuses on mammalian shifts in taxonomy and abundance that correspond with known global climate change in the Pliocene.
Tom conducts archeological and paleontological fieldwork in Kenya focused on reconstructing the paleoenvironments and behavior of Plio-Pleistocene hominins.
Hanneke's research focuses on the evolution, biogeography and extinction of insular birds, and their use as paleoecological proxies in hominin sites.
Habiba Chirchir is a biological anthropologist. Her research focuses on the evolution of human and non-human primate bone density patterns.
Members of the Human Origins Program team describe what they do and how much they enjoy their work.