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Jessica C. Thompson

I am a Paleoanthropologist at Yale University, which is where I have landed after a long and complex road from taking my first anthropology class back at Washington State University in 1996. Like many undergraduates, I had a lot of questions. Also like many undergraduates, I had not encountered anthropology as a discipline until I was in college. When I took that first anthropology class I knew that I had found the gateway to the answers for many of those questions. Now, I get to be a part of both asking fresh questions and leading incredible new minds towards finding their own.

Here, you will find a series of related links that will bring you to my projects, research and teaching experience, and other information about who I am as a scholar. For more information, you can start at my About page. Thank you for your interest!

Want to make a lasting impact?

Contact me about the need to transform museum infrastructure in Malawi.

Hora Mountain in Malawi. Image: Chelsea Smith

Malawi is a small country packed with huge significance. Ranked in the top ten places to visit in 2022 by Lonely Planet, it is home to dinosaur fossils, one of the earliest fossils of our genus Homo, some of the earliest evidence for human ecosystem management during the Stone Age, some of the most ancient human DNA in Africa, a fascinating record of early trade and agriculture, and an incredible array of modern ethnolinguistic diversity. When I first travelled through in 2005, I knew I had found somewhere special, and I have spent more than a decade doing research there.

Yet Malawi has no National Museum that can act as a central location for curation of objects in the same space where scientists can collaborate on analyses, share findings with the public, and train the next generation of heritage workers.

Ask me more about my efforts to gather resources for a future where this is possible.

If you would rather make a charitable gift to support my research directly, please email me.

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