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2024 Roy A. Rappaport Lecture Series: "From Fossils to the Forest"

U-M Anthropology | Professor Laura MacLatchy
Friday, September 20, 2024
3:00-4:30 PM
Henderson Room (third floor) Michigan League Map
The University of Michigan Department of Anthropology presents its fall 2024 Roy A. Rappaport Lecture Series, "From Fossils to the Forest."

Recent discoveries of 20-million-year-old fossil apes in eastern Africa have revealed that the first erect apes did not live in forests, but in grassy woodlands. Such habitats were previously thought to have been key to the origins of bipedalism about 7 million years ago, but it is now clear they were present much earlier. In this four-part series, Anthropology Professor Laura MacLatchy will consider fossil and modern apes living in forests and savannas to untangle the connections between habitat, locomotion and diet that influenced the evolution of the ape and human lineages.

The Rappaport lectures will take place on the following fall Fridays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Michigan League's Henderson Room (third floor). They are free and open to the public:

Friday, Sept. 20
Ape and Human Evolution: Miocene and modern insights

Friday, Oct. 25
From Fossils to the Forest

Friday, Nov. 15
Chimpanzees and the Origins of Bipedalism

Friday, Dec. 6
Watching and Rewatching Chimpanzees: Exploring locomotion on video

If you need accommodations in order to attend, please email

Laura MacLatchy is a professor of anthropology and associate research scientist with the Museum of Paleontology. She is interested in the relationship between biological form and function, with a research focus on primate locomotor evolution and its role in ape and human origins. The investigation of the locomotor ecology of our ape predecessors and the nature of their behavioral transitions — including dietary and body size changes — is a centerpiece of her research, which includes ongoing fossil site exploration in eastern Uganda, and locomotor studies of chimpanzees in equatorial Africa.
Building: Michigan League
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: AEM Featured, Anthropology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Anthropology
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