Lindsay Hunter has served CARTA in the role of Community Engagement & Advancement Director since November 2019. Lindsay is trained in Biological Anthropology (specializing in human evolutionary anatomy and Pleistocene hominin evolution), though her current academic interests are within the following domains: how scientific collaboration networks impact epistemology; STEM history; UNESCO World Heritage Site management and local tourism; and the development of Public Palaeoanthropology as a community enterprise. She strives to co-interpret and apply the sometimes arcane subject of deep hominin history in relatable, practical ways that improve understanding and empathy in the present with the goal of that ultimately contributing to a more equitable future for our species.
Lindsay received her Master’s degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of Iowa in 2004, and has studied fossil and human bone collections across five continents with major grant support from the National Science Foundation (United States) and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. She has been an Honorary Research Fellow of the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) since 2013, and pursued postgraduate research within the Wits School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies from 2017-2021 under the supervision of Amanda Esterhuysen, PhD (GAES), and Bernhard Zipfel, MD, PhD (ESI).
In 2013, Lindsay was selected as one of six Advance Cave Archaeologists, "Underground Astronauts," who the first to excavate the Dinaledi Chamber, the type site of the human relative Homo naledi, within Rising Star Cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (CoH WHS), South Africa. The 2013 Rising Star Expedition, directed by now National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger (formerly of Wits U.), included senior scientists and CARTA Members John Hawks (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Steven Churchill (Duke University). As a member of the original team, Lindsay was a joint recipient of the South African National Research Foundation’s Science Team Award in 2014 and is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at Wits. As a National Geographic Explorer, between 2016-2019, Lindsay developed and managed the National Geographic-sponsored Umsuka Public Palaeoanthropology Project in the CoH WHS from the historic Westbury Township in Johannesburg, South Africa.
To learn more about how to Support CARTA or to simply chat more about the wonders of anthropogeny in general, you may reach Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org.