New Professor Appointed
Jeremy DeSilva (PhD in Biological Anthropology, University of Michigan) will become an assistant professor of biological anthropology in the Department of Anthropology this fall. His elegantly conceived and executed thesis research appears to have resolved 25 years of acrimonious debate concerning the amount of daily activity that “Lucy” and other early human ancestors in the genus Australopithecus were still spending in the trees. (Jeremy is personally acquainted with Lucy and hopes to offer a course on her similar to one he has offered before.)
As a graduate student (first at BU and then at Michigan), he made another major contribution to the study of human evolution by developing a method for inferring the size of the brain at birth in extinct humans and other primates, thus allowing more reliable inferences concerning labor and its constraints on the anatomy and evolution of the pelvis. He has been invited to bring his expertise to bear on the study and analysis of the locomotor anatomy and behavior of two extraordinarily important unpublished fossils, which represent the earliest known skeletons belonging to the human family.