Canceled: The Last Common Ancestor


Apr 30, 2020, 6:00 pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge
Ashley S. Hammond smiling
Photo by by R. Mickens, American Museum of Natural History

We continue to monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and prioritize the safety of our visitors, staff, students, and volunteers. In the interest of reducing the number of people on campus and slowing the opportunity for transmission, the university museums are closing to the public, at the end of business on Thursday, March 12 until further notice. All public programs, classes, and events have been canceled. Over the next few weeks we will be assessing the situation and reviewing options for when we will be able to re-open to the public.

Evolution Matters Lecture Series. Free Public Lecture.

Ashley S. Hammond, Assistant Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School; Biological Anthropology Curator, American Museum of Natural History

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 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.

Ashley S. 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.

Presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Series supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit

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