Michael Petraglia is Professor of Human Evolution and Prehistory, at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, in Jena, Germany. He received his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 1987, and in 1988 he was awarded a Smithsonian postdoctoral fellowship. Michael has been associated with the Human Origins Program since its inception. From 2001-2009 he was a Lecturer in the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and from 2009-2016 he was a Professor in the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford. Petraglia has conducted large-scale, interdisciplinary archaeological research in the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian peninsula. His research has included study of the Toba volcanic super-eruption of 75,000 years ago and its effects on ecosystems and human populations. More recently, he has directed the “Palaeodeserts” project in Saudi Arabia, where up to 10,000 palaeolakes have been identified through satellite imagery. Surveys and excavations in various locations across Arabia are demonstrating that mammals and hominins repeatedly expanded across the peninsula. Michael is currently directing the Jubbah Palaeolake drilling program, in collaboration with the Saudi Commission of Tourism and National Heritage and an international scientific team, in order to understand environmental variability and its role in shaping human and mammal communities over the last one million years.