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The Last Common Ancestor

April 20, 2020 @ 6:00 pm

Regular museum admission rates apply.

The last common ancestor of chimpanzees and modern humans is believed to have evolved in Africa six to eight million years ago. Finding fossil apes and hominins — extinct members of the human lineage — from this period has been challenging.

Ashley Hammond, Assistant Professor at Richard Gilder Graduate School, will discuss her approach to identifying key evolutionary adaptations of this last common ancestor using 3D technology, analyses of known fossils and field research at six-million-year-old sites in Kenya. Hammond’s research aims to clarify the origins of bipedality, a key adaptation in human evolution.

Evolution Matters Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit.

There will be free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

We encourage persons with disabilities to participate in programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, please contact us in advance at lectures@hmsc.harvard.edu.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Hammond is the Biological Anthropology Curator at the American Museum of Natural History. She is the youngest female paleoanthropologist directing fieldwork in East Africa, and her field research is focused at sites in the Turkana Basin and in southern Kenyan Rift. Dr. Hammond’s field work is funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, and the Niarchos Expedition Fund.


April 20, 2020
6:00 pm
Regular museum admission rates apply.
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Harvard Museum of Natural History
(617) 495-3045
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Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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