Dr. Katerina Harvati is well known for her revolutionary research work, which gives the most convincing answers so far to all the questions regarding the evolution of the early modern human. The American Association of the Advancement of Science- AAAS Council elected 531 members as Fellows of AAAS, whereby Dr. Harvati is being recognized, along with other fellows for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum to be held on 20 February 2010 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Her research on the early modern human fossil from Hofmeyr, S. Africa, co-authored by Katerina Harvati and colleagues, was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the top ten scientific discoveries of the year 2007.
The international team of scientists, whereby Dr. Harvati was one of the core team members, announced that analysis of a skull discovered in South Africa in 1952 revealed the first fossil evidence that modern humans left Africa between 65,000 and 25,000 years ago. Scientists determined the age of the skull, unearthed near Hofmeyr, South Africa, by testing the levels of radiation in sand that had filled the braincase.
They figured it was about 36,000 years old — give or take 3,000 years — and matched skulls found in Europe, eastern Asia and Australia, in age and appearance, which supports the theory that modern man originated in sub-Saharan Africa and fanned out from there.
- Short CV
Dr. Harvati is a paleoanthropologist specializing in Neanderthal evolution, modern human origins and the application of 3-D geometric morphometric methods to anthropology. Her broader research interests include primate and human evolution; evolutionary theory and the species question in the human fossil record; evolution of primate and human life-history; evolution of H. erectus and Middle Pleistocene humans; the relationship of morphological variability to genetics and environment; and Paleolithic archaeology.
She has conducted fieldwork in Europe and Africa, and recently directed paleoanthropological fieldwork in Greece (Aliakmon Paleolithic/ Paleoanthropological Survey project) and Tanzania (Lake Manyara Paleoanthropological Fieldwork). Dr. Harvati has organized international symposia on Neanderthal evolution (“Neanderthals Revisited: New Approaches and Perspectives”, with T. Harrison) and modern human origins (“Transition from archaic to modern: Quantitative approaches”, with J.-J. Hublin) (more about the conferences). Her edited volume of the articles presented at the “Neanderthals Revisited” conference was published by Springer in 2006.
Dr. Harvati studied at Columbia University (BA, summa cum laude) and the City University of New York (MA, PhD), and held a doctoral fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Before joining the Max Planck Institute for Human Evolution in 2004, she was Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Anthropology, New York University.
In addition to her current post as senior researcher at the MPI, Harvati is adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Priv. Doz. at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.
Her research is published in Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology and International Journal of Primatology.
Source: ANA – MPA, Time Magazine