Dr. Susana Carvalho is joining the Gorongosa National Park research team as Associate Director of Paleoanthropology & Primatology. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2013, and was recently hired as an Associate Professor of Paleoanthropology at the University of Oxford. Susana is an expert in the study of primate tool-using behaviour, and seeks to understand the evolutionary origins of technology. She has been studying wild chimpanzees in Guinea and excavating archaeological sites at Koobi Fora, Kenya. Now one of her top research priorities is the development of paleontological and primatological research at Gorongosa. Susana is currently putting together an international multidisciplinary team of distinguished scholars from the fields of geology, palaeontology, palaeobotany, archaeology, primatology, and conservation biology.
This team represents institutions (*) from 7 countries (Mozambique, UK, Portugal, Germany, USA, South Africa, and Chile) and will begin fieldwork in August 2016. The work will include surveys of new archaeological and paleontological sites, and the beginning of systematic studies of the Primates of Gorongosa. Gorongosa is at the southernmost edge of the African Rift Valley, positioned between two of the major areas that yield early humans. In this location, the archaeological and paleontological potential is considerable, and new sites are likely to be of significant importance for the sciences of human origins. The team will also focus on the modern ecology of the park to develop a better understanding of the environments of early humans. We expect that the discoveries of new archaeological sites and hominid fossils at Gorongosa could have a profound impact on our understanding of human origins.
(*) Gorongosa National Park, Oxford University, Universidade de Coimbra, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Boise State University, George Washington University, University of South Florida, University of the Witwatersrand, Universidad Catolica de Chile, Universidad de Chile.