Virtual Science Happy Hour - My Scientific Adventures Searching for Distant Ancestors in a Failing State
*The event has already taken place on this date: Wed, 09/29/2021
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Libya is a North African country that has been “off-limits” to western scientists for most of the past 50 years because of geopolitics and, more recently, civil war, Islamic fundamentalism, and a general lack of security. Yet Libya’s vast expanses of desert terrain harbor an amazing quantity of fossil primates and other mammals, including some of the oldest common ancestors of monkeys, apes and humans found so far. This talk explores my work in Libya both before and after the collapse of the Ghaddafi regime, and what it tells us about a key interval in our distant ancestry.
Dr. Chris Beard is a paleontologist at the University of Kansas whose research investigates the early evolution of primates and other mammals. He studies how large-scale changes in the Earth’s physical environment have impacted evolutionary patterns among mammals. Beard led the field teams that discovered pivotal fossils of Eosimias in China, which at 45 million years old is the oldest and most primitive anthropoid primate (close relative of living monkeys, apes and humans) currently known. Beard graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Ph.D. in Functional Anatomy and Evolution from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A past recipient of the MacArthur “genius” fellowship, Beard is the author of the award-winning book The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey: Unearthing the Origins of Monkeys, Apes and Humans. His international fieldwork has taken him to China, Myanmar, Libya, Turkey, and other countries.
Lecture to held via Zoom. Zoom Link
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