The Leakey Foundation
After careful consideration, The Leakey Foundation has made the decision to cancel and reschedule our spring Speaker Series events in Houston and San Francisco. If you have purchased a ticket, please contact the museum you purchased your tickets from.
At a moment when society feels dangerously polarized, fragmented and unstable, the Leakey Foundation Survival Symposium “Our Tribal Nature: Tribalism, Politics, and Evolution” offers a forum for understanding our human urge to form alliances. Videos from this event are now available to watch and share.
On February 27, The Leakey Foundation hosted a free online workshop called "Science Through Story" with science communication expert Sara ElShafie. This workshop was designed to help scientists tell compelling stories about their research. It was part of a new Leakey Foundation initiative that provides career development support to our grant recipients.
An international research team led by scientists from the U.S. and Spain, supported in part by The Leakey Foundation, has discovered a nearly complete cranium of an early human ancestor, estimated to about 1.5 million years ago, and a partial cranium dated to about 1.26 million years ago, from the Gona study area in Ethiopia’s Afar State.
Journal Article, In the News
A team of international researchers, with support from The Leakey Foundation, dug deep to find some of the oldest African DNA on record, in a new study published in Nature.
Dorien de Vries is tracing the evolutionary history of two groups of mammals that share some surprising similarities. Anthropoid primates (like humans, gorillas, baboons, and capuchins) and a group of rodents called the hystricognaths (like capybaras, guinea pigs, and naked mole rats). Their migratory histories make these animals excellent case studies for studying how ecological factors may have affected the evolution of their diversity.
New discoveries and new methods in paleoanthropology are helping to refine the human story. Just 20 years ago, no one could have imagined what scientists now know about humanity’s deep past, let alone how much knowledge could be extracted from a thimble of dirt, a scrape of dental plaque, or satellites in space.
Journal Article, Guest Post
Human beings used to be defined as “the tool-maker” species. But the uniqueness of this description was challenged in the 1960s when Dr. Jane Goodall discovered that chimpanzees will pick and modify grass stems to use to collect termites. Her observations called into question homo sapiens‘ very place in the world. Since then scientists’ knowledge of animal tool use has expanded exponentially.
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