The Ethiopia Research Team
December 2006 Expedition

First Contingent

Bonnie Jacobs is an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, and chair of the Environmental Science Program at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests include the significance of biotic and climatic reconstruction in tropical areas, estimating past climates from fossil leaves, and environments of human evolution and in archaeological contexts.

Louis Jacobs is a professor and president/director of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at SMU. He is a vertebrate paleontologist who is utilizing the fossil record to understand the interrelationships of biotic and abiotic events through time. His current research focuses on the major reorganization of terrestrial ecosystems during the middle portion of the Cretaceous and in the Cenozoic.

Karen Carr is natural history artist who specializes in images of dinosaurs, as well as North American and African wildlife. Her most recent works include major illustration projects and publications for the Smithsonian Institution, the Audubon Society, Random House, HarperCollins and others. She will create a reconstruction of the paleoenvironment at Chilga, Ethiopia.

Kathryn Larson is a recent SMU graduate in Phi Beta Kappa with Bachelor degrees in both biology and dance. She graduated from the SMU Honors Program, and was Magna cum Laude in Dedman College and the Meadows School of the Arts. She plans to study paleobotany in graduate school beginning in the fall, 2007.

Chris Strganac is an SMU graduate student specializing in vertebrate paleontology. His research focuses on mammals from the northwestern U.S. and is part of his work toward a Master of Science degree at SMU.

Second Contingent
Will start the Chilga field school with Ethiopian students who will learn archaeology.

John Kappelman is a professor of physical anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. Kappelman's current field project is in the hills of northwest Ethiopia. The team he leads has found mammal fossils dating to 27 million years ago, a period for which there had been little information. The findings have filled gaps of understanding about the evolution of African mammals and provided the earliest evidence for some modern mammals such as today's African elephants.

Lauri Thompson is a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include human osteological analysis, computer imaging, and functional morphology. She is also interested in Mesoamerica; Maya bioarchaeology, burial customs, and potbelly stone sculptures.

Larry Todd is a researcher and lecturer at Colorado State University who has more than 25 years field experience. His area of research and teaching is hunter-gatherer archaeology with emphases on Paleoindian/Paleolithic studies, archaeological faunal analysis, and ecological archaeology.