Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 blog posts

Mar 1, 2024
Christophe in the Moyen Bafing National Park of northern Guinea, having just tasted some freshwater algae that the local chimpanzees consume. The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation was involved in creating this new national park in 2021. We lost a great primatologist and conservationist in Christophe Boesch this year. Christophe established the Taï Forest Chimpanzee Project with his wife and research partner Hedwige Boesch-Acherman after many years of habituating the chimpanzees without the use of provisioning and under guidance of the late Hans Kummer in Zürich. I was fortunate to... more
Feb 29, 2024
2023 Anthropogeny Field Course reflection written by James Yu, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Department of Biomedical Sciences). Excerpted by CARTA staff. For an anthropogenist, time is the enemy. We try and piece together the evidence of human origins and evolution that has occurred over millions of years, yet we’re physically constrained to the present. Our saving grace is that evolution leaves behind evidence – whether it be through bones, related species, DNA, human behavior, or current landscapes. For the CARTA fieldwork course, we sought to catch... more
Oct 2, 2020
Written by Haleh Yazdi, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Department of Psychology). The Anthropogeny Specialization track has played a pivotal role in my academic and personal journey. It has greatly enhanced my experience as a graduate student by helping me develop a broader perspective toward my research and giving me a supportive, intellectual community to belong to. Through CARTA, I have had the rare opportunity to approach my PhD research from a multidisciplinary standpoint, which allowed me to draw connections between theories, literature and methods... more
Oct 1, 2020
Written by Tim Sainburg, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Department of Psychology, Gentner Lab). Read more at As you progress further into your education, topics narrow. In primary school, you take math and science, which in high school turns into Calculus and Biology, and in college turns into Ordinary Differential Equations and Neuroanatomy. When you begin your Ph.D., you’re told that your thesis is an embarkation into a very thorough investigation of a narrow topic. You’re supposed to become one of the world’s experts on something... more
Sep 30, 2020
Written by Nina Semushina, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Dept. of Linguistics). I first learned about CARTA when I just joined the graduate program in Linguistics at UC San Diego. That was the first day at the department, and CARTA graduate, Hope Morgan (now Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leiden), presented the program to the first-year students. I joined the program three years later after I passed my qualifying exams and took an exciting course on language evolution taught by CARTA member, Professor Robert Kluender. Since then,... more
Sep 29, 2020
Written by Vanessa Bateman, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Dept. of Visual Arts; Art History, Theory and Criticism). Joining the Graduate Specialization in Anthropogeny track was the best decision I made while completing a PhD in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at UC San Diego and has shaped the trajectory of my research after graduation. Out of a curiosity to gain insight about my research on the visual representation of hunting from a different perspective, I enrolled in the Introduction to Anthropogeny course taught by Prof. Pascal Gagneux in the... more
Sep 28, 2020
Written by Caterina "Catie" Profaci, Anthropogeny Specialization Track Graduate Student (UC San Diego Department of Neurosciences, NeuroGrad). Notably, Catie is also the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Thal Award from UC San Diego Neurosciences, which recognizes outstanding graduate student research in the department. I knew of the CARTA Graduate Specialization in Anthropogeny through a friend before even beginning graduate school at UC San Diego. Originally, I did not plan on joining. Of course, I had only heard positive things about the training program, but I thought the time... more
Mar 9, 2020
Written by K. Lindsay Hunter, CARTA Community Engagement and Advancement Director (@Paleo_Bonegirl, @CARTAUCSD)   Today’s researchers studying the origins of our species have been inundated with new data revealed through advances in technology, refined genomic and dating methods, as well as new discoveries. However, this largess provides a challenge in integration and description that ultimately begs for reflection. CARTA Member Iain Davidson’s (PhD, U of New England, emeritus) profiled chapter (see “CARTA-inspired Publications”) reminds us that in our quest to identify “ourselves” in the... more
Mar 9, 2020
Intrepid Anthropogeny Explorers! During Summer 2019, a small group embarked on a journey to better understand human origins. Visiting important locations throughout the East African Rift, including parts of Ethiopia and Tanzania, our explorers studied fossils, lived with hunter-gatherers, and encountered numerous non-human primates. The following pictures give a glimpse into this journey. THIS PICTURE COLLAGE: To represent the human characters of the field course, this collage takes the shape of a recently discovered Middle Stone Age obsidian point found at the Fincha Habera rock shelter in... more