Title of Lecture: The extinction of Africa’s megaherbivores: ancient hominin impacts or climate change?
Lecture Description: It has long been suggested that our hominin ancestors drove the extinctions of Africa’s largest mammals over the last two million years. Dr. Faith will evaluate such hypotheses through exploration of eastern African paleontological, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental data. The timing and pattern of megaherbivore extinctions argues against hominin impacts, and highlights the important role of climate-driven ecosystem change in Africa’s extinctions.
Bio: Dr. Tyler Faith is Curator of Archaeology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. His research addresses the relationships between Quaternary mammals, environmental change, and human evolution, with an emphasis on the African record. He has conducted paleoanthropological fieldwork in the Lake Victoria Basin of western Kenya for the last 10 years. Faith is the author of Paleozoology and Paleoenvironments: Fundamentals, Assumptions, Techniques (with Lee Lyman), which outlines the reconstruction of ancient climates, floras, and habitats on the basis of vertebrate fossil remains.