Science Pub RVA #29
Homo naledi and Burying Our Dead
Dr. Amy Rector Verrelli talked about a recently discovered species of human ancestor, Homo naledi, which has some scientists hypothesizing that they were intentionally buried in a deep cave. What does this new species mean for how we understand the evolution of our lineage, and how we define what makes us human?
Dr.Verreli’s research involves reconstructing paleoecological contexts for early human evolution in Africa, as well as identifying and analyzing fossil mammal communities to characterize their biogeographic and ecological affinities through space and time. Amy earned her B.S. at the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Working with the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State, Dr. Rector Verrelli has been involved in field work in South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco, and continues to take a VCU study abroad class to South Africa every summer.