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Field Projects


I currently direct a project entitled the Malawi Ancient Lifeways and Peoples Project (MALAPP). I began the project in 2016 with a pilot field season and seed funding from Emory University. In 2017, this project completed its first full field season with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research . In 2018 it completed its second full field season with funding from Emory University. And in 2019, we concluded excavations at one site and progressed with another with support from the National Geographic Society and Yale University. In 2022 we will return to the field with support from the Leakey Foundation. Hyde Family Foundations have also been a supporter since 2018 as part of the Human Origins Migration and Evolution Research (HOMER) project.


The main aim of MALAPP is to understand how hunter-gatherer social interactions in northern Malawi changed in response to major environmental shifts during the end of the Pleistocene and again in the mid-Holocene. Another important outcome will be understanding how these interactions were fundamentally altered by the incursion of food producers in the last ~2000 years.

Photo: Excavations at the Hora 1 site in 2017 (Photo credit: Suzanne Kunitz). 

From 2009-2016, I directed a project entitled the Malawi Earlier-Middle Stone Age Project (MEMSAP). Detailed information about that project can be found here:

I have also been recently involved with the Hadar Research Project, including working with the Hadar field school to examine the spatial distribution of taphonomic modifications on fossil bones dating to ca. 3.3 million years ago. This work accompanies taphonomic work on new sites dating between ~2.6 – 2.8 Ma in the adjacent Ledi-Geraru Research Area.

Photo: Teaching survey methods in Hadar in 2012 (Photo credit: Bill Kimbel)

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