Photo by: Purwo Kuncoro

Human Ecological Dominance

Rob Blumenschine’s Leakey Speaker Series talk, “Olduvai Gorge and the Origin of Human Ecological Dominance,” is coming up on April 22, 2015 at the California Academy of Sciences. Rob will discuss how humans have become one of the most adaptable and ecologically dominant species through intelligence and technology. What makes Rob so qualified to discuss this topic?

Rob has worked with the Comprehensive Olduvai Database Initiative (CODI) to expand upon the groundbreaking work of Louis and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge for over two decades. Rob and his colleague Dr. Fidelis Masao have co-directed CODI’s Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project (OLAPP) since 1989, which is the longest-running of current projects at CODI. OLAPP focuses on reconstructing Olduvai’s ancient landscapes and identifying signs of Homo and hominid land use, such as tool making. This project has uncovered over 20,000 stone artifacts and 25,000 vertebrate specimens. It has also uncovered nine new Homo and hominid individuals including OH 65, a Homo habilis maxilla excavated in 1995 by Rob and his team. OH 65 shed new light on variation within Homo habilis. Read further about OH 65 in the Scientific American article “Tanzanian Fossil May Trim Human Family Tree.”

Rob is not only passionate about the science, but scientific outreach as well.

“The study of our past and our origins is not just of interest to scientists and maybe to a lay public when a big fossil discovery is made; but that the field has broad relevance to each of our lives, and the society in which we live.” – Rob Blumenschine

Rob currently is the Chief Scientific, Education, and Fundraising Strategist at the Paleontological Scientific Trust (PAST) of Johannesburg, South Africa. PAST is a non-profit dedicated to Africa’s ancient natural and cultural heritage providing public outreach, student support, technical training, youth development, research support and publication and conference support.

Join The Leakey Foundation and Rob Blumenschine on Earth Day, April 22, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the California Academy of Sciences for “Olduvai Gorge and the Origin of Human Ecological Dominance.”

Tickets are available for purchase online at Calacademy.org. General Admission is $15, Leakey Foundation Members, California Academy of Sciences Members, and Seniors are $12.

For more about Rob Blumenschine watch this interview.



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