Photo by: Purwo Kuncoro

Introducing the spring 2023 Leakey Foundation Research Grant recipients

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The Leakey Foundation is pleased to announce the 24 recipients of our spring 2023 Research Grants. These outstanding scientists are leading groundbreaking studies that will expand our understanding of humanity. Their diverse projects span the globe and cover topics ranging from ancient climate change and early primate evolution to the effects of early-life adversity and the energetics of human pregnancy.

We are grateful to our community of donors who make these research grants possible. Please consider making a donation today. With your help, we can continue to illuminate the past, understand the present, and shape a future filled with new discoveries.

We look forward to sharing more about our grantees and their research as their projects progress.

Photo of Tyler Andres-Bray (he/him) during his first research trip in February 2020 to Ganga Research Station, Mbam & Djerem National Park, Cameroon. Photo: Ian Nichols

Tyler Andres-Bray, Drexel University: When life gives you insects: Patterns of insectivory in Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees in Mbam & Djerem National Park

Chris Beard at an Eocene primate site in Turkey. Photo: Gregoire Metais

Christopher Beard, University of Kansas: Early primate evolution in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Project investigators Alison Behie and Justyna Miszkiewicz in the lab examining a milk tooth thin section. Photo: Justyna Miszkiewicz

Alison Behie, The Australian National University: Using stress markers in teeth to better understand the lives of our ancestors

Tim Bromage in his Hard Tissue Research Unit laboratory, a preparation and light and electron optics technology development laboratory.

Timothy Bromage, New York University, College of Dentistry: Paleometabolomics informs metabolic and ecologic profiling of early human localities

Ella Brown uses a photogrammetry device to measure body size in wild Bornean Orangutans with the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project in Indonesia. Photo: Tim Laman

Ella Brown, University of Michigan: Do social environments influence the timing of male maturation in a close human relative?

Fabrice Demeter on Pa Hang Hill in Laos.

Fabrice Demeter, University of Copenhagen: Denisovans and early modern humans in northern Laos: Climate dynamics and hominins turnover in Late Pleistocene Southeast Asia

Emma Finestone collecting samples on the Homa Peninsula, Kenya. Photo: Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Emma Finestone, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History: Raw material procurement through the Stone Age on the Homa Peninsula, Kenya

Frances Forrest teaching taphonomy in the field.

Frances Forrest, Fairfield University
Zooarchaeology at a new hominin locality in Koobi Fora, Kenya

2023 Leakey Foundation grantee Natalia Grube.

Natalia Grube, The Pennsylvania State University: Human-tapeworm coevolution: Advancing understandings of hominin meat-eating behavior

Mackenzie Hepker, George Washington University: Social-visceral integration in the evolution of hominids, cetaceans and afrotherians

Nasser Malit at the Addis Ababa Museum studying fossil hominins. Photo: Nasser Malit

Nasser Malit, SUNY Potsdam: Exploring human evolution in the highland areas of central Kenya

2023 Leakey Foundation grantee Hanneke Meijer. Photo: Hanneke Meijer.

Hanneke Meijer, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen: Documenting spatio-temporal paleoenvironmental variability in early and Middle Pleistocene Flores

Amanda Melin at her field site in Santa Rosa, Costa Rica.

Amanda Melin, University of Calgary: Manual discriminative touch, hand morphological variation, and frugivory in wild Geoffroy’s spider monkeys

Charles Musiba recovering freshly eroding hominin dental fragments at Locality 7SW at Laetoli, Tanzania. Photo: Tiffany Terneny

Charles Musiba, University of Colorado, Denver: Hominin recovery, conservation, and documentation of animal trackways at localities 7, 7E, and 7SW at Laetoli, Tanzania

Elisabetta Palagi talking about geladas at Trento Film Festival in Trento Italy. Photo: Michele Purin

Elisabetta Palagi, Università di Pisa: Science for reconciliation: What an Ethiopian monkey tells us about peace-making

Srishti Sadhir measuring out a dose of doubly labeled water in the lab at Duke University (Durham, NC). Doses are consumed by study participants, and energy expenditure is measured from stable isotope enrichment in subsequent urine samples.

Srishti Sadhir, Duke University: Maternal energetic strategies during human pregnancy

2023 Leakey Foundation grantee Ron Shimelmitz.

Ron Shimelmitz, University of Haifa: Tracing the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic transition of Sefunim Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel: A multi-proxy approach

Chelsea Southworth at Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Photo: Cal Kunzle

Chelsea Southworth University of Notre Dame: Effects of early adversity on social development and fitness in adolescent female baboons

Anissa Speakman Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Mating strategy variation and reproductive control in kinda baboons (Papio kindae)

Samvardhini Sridharan at the Brooklyn Bridge the week she learned she was a Leakey Foundation grantee. Photo: Isabel Serrano

Samvardhini Sridharan, University of California, Berkeley: The impact of structural variation on human evolution

Fanny Tibesar, University of Osnabrück: Gestural signaling in adult sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus aty) in the wild: New and old measures to investigate flexibility and intentionality

(Right to left) Laura van Holstein, Gnan Mamy (research team lead at the Nimba Chimpanzee Project), and Nema Guêmy (Guinean guide at the Nimba Chimpanzee Project) after successfully locating a party of unhabituated chimpanzees.

Laura van Holstein, University of Cambridge: The evolutionary implications of aquatic faunivory by chimpanzees

Lauren Wiseman-Jones conducting her pilot study with the Virunga mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, in the summer of 2022. Photo: Dr. Winnie Eckardt. Permission to share this photo has been granted by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Lauren Wiseman-Jones, Washington University: The physiological and behavioral responses of Virunga mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) to social and anthropogenic stressors

Samir Zouhri, Université Hassan II de Casablanca: In search of Miocene and Pliocene hominid fossils in the Ouarzazate Basin, Morocco

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