News Release

Anthropologist to lecture on Olduvai Gorge April 20

Contact: Christina Chapple


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Robert Blumenschine

     HAMMOND – To celebrate two major 2009 anniversaries in the field of anthropology, Southeastern Louisiana University’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice is sponsoring an April 20 lecture by Robert Blumenschine, one of the leading scholars of early human evolution in East Africa.  

     Kellen Gilbert, coordinator of the department’s anthropology program, said the lecture gives a nod to the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwins’ birth and the 50th anniversary of the Louis and Mary Leakey’s find of the earliest hominid fossil in Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania.

     Blumenschine, professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and co-director of the Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project, will speak on “Predation Risk, Stone Tool Transport Costs, and the Origin of Human Carnivory: A View from Olduvai Gorge.” His 2 p.m. lecture in the Southeastern Room (room 223) of the War Memorial Student Union Theatre is open to the campus and community.

     The Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project is a multidisciplinary and international project that is expanding on the Leakeys’ important archaeological and fossil finds by reconstructing Olduvai’s ancient landscapes and the activities of the earliest stone-tool makers.

     Blumenschine is interested in the evolution of human diet and subsistence strategies and has conducted archaeological and wildlife research in East Africa, southern Africa, and India. His work on carnivore feeding behavior in the Serengeti of Tanzania has provided insights on the long-debated hunting and scavenging issue in human evolution.

     Blumenschine also will visit with anthropology classes during the day. For additional information, contact Gilbert at 985-549-5037.

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