Skip to main content Menu Menu

Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics

Login   |   Signup

NEW FOSSIL DISCOVERY REDEFINES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN!

A discussion about H. naledi with Duke Professor Steven Churchill
September 17th, 2015
1:00 PM

  Archived

VIDEO: Churchill discusses the open public nature of the H. naledi research & publication process

 

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015

12:00 - 1:15 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics, Old Chem 011

Light lunch served.

Banner image from Lee R. Berger, et al, eLife 2015;4:e09560, Sept. 10, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.019

Join us for a discussion with Duke Professor Steven Churchill about the recently announced discovery of a new fossil human relative, Homo naledi, found in a cave near Johannesburg, South Africa. Churchill was a member of the research team that made the discovery, and will talk with us about how the find affects our knowledge of our human ancestors.

Watch Dawn of Humanity, a 2-hour NOVA special documenting the research team's work in South Africa. The special aired on local PBS affiliate WUNC-TV at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Read about H. naledi:

Check out what Steven Churchill had to say about H. naledi below!

Steven Churchill

Duke University Evolutionary Anthropology

Steven Churchill is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. He is a human paleontologist studying morphological and behavioral adaptation in archaic and modern humans of the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Through comparative functional-morphological analysis of human fossil remains, coupled with investigation of the archeological record of prehistoric human behavior, he and his students conduct research in the ecology, energetics and adaptive strategies of premodern members of the genus Homo and early members of our own species [H. sapiens] in Africa, the Near East and Europe; the evolution of human subsistence strategies across the Middle and Late Pleistocene; the evolution of subsistence technology, especially the origins of true long-range projectile weaponry; he community ecology of humans and large-bodied carnivores in Pleistocene Europe and Africa. In addition to this basic research, his team is also actively engaged in fieldwork in southern Africa, with the goal of improving our understanding of the morphology and behavior of Middle Stone Age-associated early modern humans and their immediate ancestors (African Middle Pleistocene archaic humans).

Churchill was part of the team that recently announced its findings of a new species of human relative, Homo naledi in a cave in Southern Africa.