Smithsonian Staffer to Speak at Science Seminar

A leading scientist recognized as pioneer in the study of land ecosystems and their fossil record through geological time will present the next Suter Science Seminar lecture.

Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Ph.D.
Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Ph.D.

Anna K. Behrensmeyer, long-time research curator at the National Museum of Natural History (the Smithsonian) in Washington, D.C., will speak on “Climate Change and Human Evolution: Evidence from the Fossil Record of East Africa,” 4 p.m. Friday, Mar. 20, in room 104 of the Suter Science Center at EMU. Read more about Dr. Behrensmeyer…

Much of Dr. Behrensmeyer’s career has involved paleontological and geological research in the field and laboratory, with a particular focus on the ecological context of human evolution in East Africa.

Her presentation will link patterns of climate change to events in human evolution, using accurate geological age determinations and careful assessment of all available evidence.

Behrensmeyer received her doctorate in vertebrate paleontology and sedimentology from the department of geological sciences, Harvard University, in 1973. After post-doctoral positions at several major universities, including teaching for the Earth Science Board at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she joined the National Museum of Natural History staff in 1981.

In 2002, “Discover” Magazine named Behrensmeyer as one of the 50 most important women scientists in the U.S.

“On-land fossil records from different regions of Africa, together with better climate data from marine deep-sea drill cores, are strengthening understanding of climate change over the past six million years have affected the ecology and behavior of our earliest ancestors,” said Roman J. Miller, Suter Endowed Professor of Biology at EMU.

Refreshments will be served 15 minutes before the presentation. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Dr. Miller at 540-432-4412; email