Participants

Curator emeritus and senior scientist in residence in the division of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Ian Tattersall is widely acclaimed for his studies of speciation and diversity in the human fossil record. His current research involves a continuing investigation of the emergence of Homo sapiens and of modern human cognition. Earlier in his career, he studied the ecology and systematic biology of the lemurs of Madagascar. Dr. Tattersall was raised in East Africa and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took first class honors in archaeology and anthropology. After earning a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics at Yale University in 1971, he joined the AMNH as an assistant curator, and he has since taught at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University, where he continues as an adjunct professor of anthropology, as he does at City University of New York.  He has been responsible for a number of AMNH's major exhibits throughout the past three decades, including, most recently, "The First Europeans: Treasures from the Hills of Atapuerca" (2003) and the "Spitzer Hall of Human Origins" (2007). In addition to Madagascar, Dr. Tattersall has conducted field work in Mayotte, the Comoro Islands, Mauritius, Réunion, Borneo, Nigeria, Niger, Sudan, Yemen, Vietnam, Suriname, French Guiana, and the United States. He is a member of Sigma Xi and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Linnean Society of London. He has been honored with various awards and serves as a member of the Permanent Council of the International Association of the Study of Human Paleontology, the board of directors of the Institute of Human Origins, the scientific advisory board of the Lemur Conservation Foundation, the scientific advisory council of the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, and the board of advisors of the John Templeton Foundation. The author of some 300 papers published in scientific journals or in volumes of collected works, he is the editor (with Eric Delson, J.A. Van Couvering, and, for the 2nd edition, Alison Brooks) of the definitive Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory (1988 and 2000) and is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including (with Jeffrey Schwartz) three volumes of The Human Fossil Record (2002, 2003, and 2005). Among other works are: The Primates of Madagascar (1982), The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know About Human Evolution (1995 and 2009), The Last Neanderthal: The Rise, Success, and Mysterious Extinction of Our Closest Human Relatives (1995 and 1999), Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness (1998), The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on the Science of What Makes Us Human  (2002), (with Rob DeSalle) Human Origins: What Bones and Genomes Tell Us about Ourselves (2008), The World from Beginnings to 4000 BCE (2008), Paleontology: A Brief History of Life (2010), a concisely-told yet comprehensive story of evolution that probes the origins of human spiritual sensibilities in relation to the emergence of symbolic cognition and thought, and, most recently, (with Rob DeSalle) Race? Debunking A Scientific Myth, an explanation of what human races really are in the context of natural diversity, which was published by Texas A&M University Press earlier this year.