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Zeresenay Alemseged

AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    I am interested in human evolution in general, and specifically in the events surrounding the origin and diversification of early hominins in the Mio-Pliocene and how these processes were shaped by underlying environmental and ecological factors. The big questions my research seeks to explore concern the evolutionary history of the earliest human ancestors subsequent to the human-ape split about 7 million years ago. I attempt to discern phylogenetic relationships and patterns of species diversity among early hominins by deciphering their anatomical, behavioral, locomotor, and dietary adaptations. Yet, the paleobiology of these early hominins cannot be fully understood without comprehending the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological context within which these evolutionary processes took place. Hence the need to understand their biotic and abiotic environments by studying the associated fauna, which is another important aspect of my research. I am also interested in the evolutionary history of the non-human primates (cercopithecidae) that are often encountered in Plio-Pleistocene hominin sites.

    To accomplish these goals I undertake the following:

    Fieldwork: Discovery of hominin and nonhuman fossils by leading an international and multidisciplinary field project at Plio-Pleistocene sites;

    Laboratory work: Preparation, curation, and analysis of original extant and fossil primates, including hominin remains, at various museums around the world;

    Analytical work: Application of recent imaging and visualization techniques to investigate internal and external fossil anatomies;

    Faunal study: Fossil faunal analysis to explore environmental and ecological factors affecting human and primate evolution.

    Check out Zeray's Ted talk entitled "The Search for Humanity's Roots."
    http://www.ted.com/talks/zeresenay_alemseged_looks_for_humanity_s_roots


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaB.SC07/1990GEOLOGY
    Cavilam de Vichy International School of Language, Vichy, FranceDIP08/1993FRENCH
    University of Montpellier II, Montpellier, FranceM.SC09/1994PALEONTOLOGY
    University of Paris VI and National Museum of Natural History, Paris, FrancePH.D06/1998Paleoanthropology
    Collapse awards and honors
    2018Donald N. Pritzker Professorship, THE UNIVERSITY of CHICAGO
    2014EXPERT, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
    2013FELLOW, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION for the ADVANCEMENT of SCIENCE
    2011fellow, California Academy of Sciences
    2004Emerging Explorer, National Geographic Society
    1993 - 1998Full Scholarship, Centre National des Oeuvres Universitaires

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Du A, Rowan J, Wang SC, Wood BA, Alemseged Z. Statistical estimates of hominin origination and extinction dates: A case study examining the Australopithecus anamensis-afarensis lineage. J Hum Evol. 2020 Jan; 138:102688. PMID: 31759257.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Nalley TK, Scott JE, Ward CV, Alemseged Z. Comparative morphology and ontogeny of the thoracolumbar transition in great apes, humans, and fossil hominins. J Hum Evol. 2019 Sep; 134:102632. PMID: 31446973.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Du A, Alemseged Z. Temporal evidence shows Australopithecus sediba is unlikely to be the ancestor of Homo. Sci Adv. 2019 05; 5(5):eaav9038. PMID: 31086821.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Martinez FI, Capelli C, Ferreira da Silva MJ, Aldeias V, Alemseged Z, Archer W, Bamford M, Biro D, Bobe R, Braun DR, Habermann JM, Lüdecke T, Madiquida H, Mathe J, Negash E, Paulo LM, Pinto M, Stalmans M, Tátá F, Carvalho S. A missing piece of the Papio puzzle: Gorongosa baboon phenostructure and intrageneric relationships. J Hum Evol. 2019 May; 130:1-20. PMID: 31010537.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Alemseged Z, Njau J, Pobiner B, Ndiema E. Connecting palaeoscientists in eastern Africa and the wider world. Nat Ecol Evol. 2019 03; 3(3):330-331. PMID: 30718855.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Du A, Alemseged Z. Diversity analysis of Plio-Pleistocene large mammal communities in the Omo-Turkana Basin, eastern Africa. J Hum Evol. 2018 11; 124:25-39. PMID: 30153945.
      View in: PubMed
    7. DeSilva JM, Gill CM, Prang TC, Bredella MA, Alemseged Z. A nearly complete foot from Dikika, Ethiopia and its implications for the ontogeny and function of Australopithecus afarensis. Sci Adv. 2018 07; 4(7):eaar7723. PMID: 29978043.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Ward CV, Nalley TK, Spoor F, Tafforeau P, Alemseged Z. Thoracic vertebral count and thoracolumbar transition in Australopithecus afarensis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 06 06; 114(23):6000-6004. PMID: 28533391.
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    9. Wynn JG, Reed KE, Sponheimer M, Kimbel WH, Alemseged Z, Bedaso ZK, Campisano CJ. Dietary flexibility of Australopithecus afarensis in the face of paleoecological change during the middle Pliocene: Faunal evidence from Hadar, Ethiopia. J Hum Evol. 2016 10; 99:93-106. PMID: 27650582.
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    10. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Reply to Almécija: A new direction for reconstructing our last common ancestor with chimpanzees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 23; 113(8):E945. PMID: 26862164.
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    11. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Reply to Melillo: Woranso-Mille is consistent with an australopithecine shoulder intermediate between African apes and Homo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 29; 112(52):E7160. PMID: 26676585.
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    12. Reed D, Barr WA, Mcpherron SP, Bobe R, Geraads D, Wynn JG, Alemseged Z. Digital data collection in paleoanthropology. Evol Anthropol. 2015 Nov-Dec; 24(6):238-49. PMID: 26662947.
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    13. Alemseged Z. Stable isotopes serving as a checkpoint. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Oct 06; 112(40):12232-3. PMID: 26401018.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 22; 112(38):11829-34. PMID: 26351685.
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    15. Negash EW, Alemseged Z, Wynn JG, Bedaso ZK. Paleodietary reconstruction using stable isotopes and abundance analysis of bovids from the Shungura Formation of South Omo, Ethiopia. J Hum Evol. 2015 Nov; 88:127-136. PMID: 26341031.
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    16. Thompson JC, McPherron SP, Bobe R, Reed D, Barr WA, Wynn JG, Marean CW, Geraads D, Alemseged Z. Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia. J Hum Evol. 2015 Sep; 86:112-35. PMID: 26277305.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Plummer TW, Ferraro JV, Louys J, Hertel F, Alemseged Z, Bobe R, Bishop LC. Bovid ecomorphology and hominin paleoenvironments of the Shungura Formation, lower Omo River Valley, Ethiopia. J Hum Evol. 2015 Nov; 88:108-126. PMID: 26208956.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Skinner MM, Alemseged Z, Gaunitz C, Hublin JJ. Enamel thickness trends in Plio-Pleistocene hominin mandibular molars. J Hum Evol. 2015 Aug; 85:35-45. PMID: 26024565.
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    19. Sponheimer M, Alemseged Z, Cerling TE, Grine FE, Kimbel WH, Leakey MG, Lee-Thorp JA, Manthi FK, Reed KE, Wood BA, Wynn JG. Reply to Fontes-Villalba et al.: On a reluctance to conjecture about animal food consumption. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 22; 110(43):E4056. PMID: 24308036.
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    20. Wynn JG, Sponheimer M, Kimbel WH, Alemseged Z, Reed K, Bedaso ZK, Wilson JN. Diet of Australopithecus afarensis from the Pliocene Hadar Formation, Ethiopia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 25; 110(26):10495-500. PMID: 23733965.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Bedaso ZK, Wynn JG, Alemseged Z, Geraads D. Dietary and paleoenvironmental reconstruction using stable isotopes of herbivore tooth enamel from middle Pliocene Dikika, Ethiopia: implication for Australopithecus afarensis habitat and food resources. J Hum Evol. 2013 Jan; 64(1):21-38. PMID: 23199576.
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    22. Green DJ, Alemseged Z. Australopithecus afarensis scapular ontogeny, function, and the role of climbing in human evolution. Science. 2012 Oct 26; 338(6106):514-7. PMID: 23112331.
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    23. Alemseged Z, Kiura PW, Mbua E, Njau J, Pobiner B. A platform for East African paleoanthropology: third biannual conference of the EAAPP. Evol Anthropol. 2012 May; 21(3):89-91. PMID: 22900270.
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    24. McPherron SP, Alemseged Z, Marean C, Wynn JG, Reed D, Geraads D, Bobe R, Béarat H. Tool-marked bones from before the Oldowan change the paradigm. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 24; 108(21):E116; author reply E117. PMID: 21536920.
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    25. McPherron SP, Alemseged Z, Marean CW, Wynn JG, Reed D, Geraads D, Bobe R, Béarat HA. Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature. 2010 Aug 12; 466(7308):857-60. PMID: 20703305.
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    26. Frost SR, Alemseged Z. Middle Pleistocene fossil Cercopithecidae from Asbole, Afar Region, Ethiopia. J Hum Evol. 2007 Sep; 53(3):227-59. PMID: 17658583.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Alemseged Z, Spoor F, Kimbel WH, Bobe R, Geraads D, Reed D, Wynn JG. A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature. 2006 Sep 21; 443(7109):296-301. PMID: 16988704.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Wynn JG, Alemseged Z, Bobe R, Geraads D, Reed D, Roman DC. Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature. 2006 Sep 21; 443(7109):332-6. PMID: 16988711.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Alemseged Z, Wynn JG, Kimbel WH, Reed D, Geraads D, Bobe R. A new hominin from the Basal Member of the Hadar Formation, Dikika, Ethiopia, and its geological context. J Hum Evol. 2005 Oct; 49(4):499-514. PMID: 16026815.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Alemseged Z. An integrated approach to taphonomy and faunal change in the Shungura formation (Ethiopia) and its implication for hominid evolution. J Hum Evol. 2003 Apr; 44(4):451-78. PMID: 12727463.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Alemseged Z, Coppens Y, Geraads D. Hominid cranium from Omo: Description and taxonomy of Omo-323-1976-896. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2002 Feb; 117(2):103-12. PMID: 11815945.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Alemseged Z, Geraads D. Theropithecus atlanticus (Thomas, 1884) (Primates: Cercopithecidae) from the late Pliocene of Ahl al Oughlam, Casablanca, Morocco. J Hum Evol. 1998 Jun; 34(6):609-21. PMID: 9650102.
      View in: PubMed
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