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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Anthropology

Program in
Human Ecology and Archaeobiology

Ms. ňĚregorick with SI PHEA Research Staff Dr. Melinda Zeder

The Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology has a strong commitment to integrating undergraduate and graduate student interns with an interest in the analysis of plant and animal remains from archaeological sites into ongoing research projects. PHEA also provides laboratory facilities, access to comparative collections, and infrastructure support for visiting scientists, research collaborators, and graduate students involved in thesis and dissertation research projects. Since 1992 the Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology has hosted 24 fellows and 55 research associates, long-term visiting researchers, PhD advisees, and interns. The Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of Natural History offer a wide range of undergraduate internship and graduate and post doctoral fellowship opportunities. More information can be found at the Natural History Research Experiences and Office of Fellowships websites.

Current Research Associates/Collaborators include:

Zelalem Assefa's areas of specialization are zooarchaeology and palaeoanthropology, and his primary interests have been the evolution and ecology of human subsistence behavior and the dynamics of human cognitive development. His research goals are to detect cultural variability in the use of faunal resources through time and to investigate the early expressions of symbolic behavior among modern humans. In the past few years, he has been involved in developing a digital catalogue on dentitions of east African large mammals. He has been co-director of a major palaeonthropological field project in Ethiopia, at the Omo-Kibish - a site best known for yielding the earliest skeletal evidence of anatomically modern humans. Since 2007, he has been running a new field project in southeastern Ethiopia, with the objective of locating new and previously identified cave sites within the extensive limestone deposits of the region.


    Recent Fellows and Affiliated Researchers

  • Guy Bar Oz, Associate Professor, Haifa University
    Visiting Scientist 2009-2010. Website

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