In April 2013 The Leakey Foundation awarded the Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship to five outstanding applicants, most of whom are now beginning a new school year. The Fellowship was established in 1977 by Elisabeth O’Conner as a program to educate African scholars in prehistory and paleoanthropology. Recently the program was expanded beyond Africa to include scholars with citizenship in a developing country who seek to obtain an advanced degree or specialized training from an institution outside the scholar’s home country. By enabling bright young scholars to obtain a graduate degree, The Leakey Foundation is helping to equip these individuals to assume a leadership role in the future of human origins research.
Here is a brief introduction to our current Baldwin Fellows:
Our two returning Baldwin Fellows are Mercy Akinyi and Stanislaus Mulu Kivai. Ms. Akinyi (Kenya) is continuing her studies at Duke University, focusing on understanding the relationships between the evolution of behavior, social connectedness and aging in non-human primates. Mr. Kivai (Kenya) is currently a PhD candidate in Evolutionary Anthropology at Rutgers. He has a strong interest in conservation and in adaptive responses of non-human primates to anthropogenic factors that threaten primate biodiversity.
Our three newest Baldwin Fellows are Simone Dagui Ban, May Lesley Murungi, and Justin Pargeter. Ms. Dagui Ban (Côte d’Ivoire) is enrolled in the Max Planck Institute in Germany where she is acquiring statistical training that she can apply to the analysis of fruit search strategies and memory skills of chimpanzees for her dissertation. Ms. Murungi (Uganda) is working towards her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand where her area of interest is phytolic (silica plant microfossils) analysis of the environmental history of Sibudu Cave in KwaZulu-Natal. Mr. Pargeter (South Africa) is in his first year of doctoral studies at Stony Brook. His research focus is on the use of experimental archaeology, use-wear analysis and tool morphometrics to understand changes in hunting technologies during the late Pleistocene and Holocene in southern Africa.
Please join us in wishing our Baldwin Fellows great success in their studies and a fantastic school year!