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Alison Brooks, professor and chair of anthropology at George Washington University, has argued that the fundamental behavioral repertoire and underlying cognitive abilities characteristic of our species developed gradually in Africa much earlier than once believed. In support of her research, she helped to develop a new dating technique for materials too old for dating by radioactive carbon techniques. It uses rates of protein decay in fragmentary shells of ostrich eggs found in archaeological sites throughout arid regions of Africa and Asia. Her research and field work has taken her to the Middle East, Sweden, China, and the Dordogne region of France, as well as to Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana. A magna cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College/Harvard University, Dr. Brooks went on to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology at Harvard in 1979. She had begun her teaching career as an assistant professor at George Washington seven years earlier and was promoted to associate professor in 1980 and to her present professorship in 1988. She is also a research associate in anthropology at The Smithsonian Institution. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Brooks has held fellowships awarded by the American Scandinavian Foundation, the Leakey Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Bunting Institute, and the Japan Foundation. Her research has been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Anthropological Association, the Federal Republic of Germany, the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and the National Center for Science Education. She has delivered invited lectures at Harvard, New York University, and the universities of Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Florida, Connecticut, Calgary, Toronto, Bordeaux, and Tübingen, as well as at numerous institutes and museums throughout the world. She is the recipient of an honorary degree from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Trachtenberg Award for Scholarship from George Washington where she also was named a Distinguished Columbian Professor. A former president and a former member of the board of managers of the Anthropological Society of Washington, she has been associate editor of the Journal of Human Evolution, American Anthropologist, and Geoarchaeology. Dr. Brooks is the author of some fifty papers published in academic journals and the co-editor of two books: (with Ruth Landman, Linda Bennett, and Phyllis Chock) Anthropological Careers, Perspectives, Employment and Training (1981) and, most recently, (with Eric Delson, Ian Tattersall, and John A. Van Couvering) Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory (2nd Edition), which was published by Garland Press in 2000. As editor of AnthroNotes, she has written extensively on anthropology for secondary school teachers and students, including People, Places and Change, a textbook for middle school students that has been published in multiple editions.