The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)


Session 36. Koobi Fora Research and Training: Highlights of the Last 5 Years of Research and Education Initiatives. Invited Poster Symposium. Chair: Sarah K. Hlubik Co-organizers: Maryse Beirnat, Arizona State University; David R. Braun, The George Washington University

April 17, 2020 8 a.m. - noon, Diamond 6 Add to calendar

The Koobi Fora Field School has been running in the Turkana Basin, in northern Kenya, for over 30 years.  A core focus of the present program is a more generalized study of the natural and cultural history of the Turkana basin, with emphasis on student-focused research. Research projects span diverse disciplines including the biology of modern people through ancient hominins, as well as the study of behavior from the Pliocene through to the present and the geological context of these materials. The expansion of the research focus has led to a diverse team of researchers from institutions in the US, Europe, and eastern and southern Africa, from all career levels including undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral and early career researchers, and senior level researchers. This involves an inclusive environment and a distinct tiered-mentoring structure that provides training, open discourse, and collaborative opportunities for all participants. Educational initiatives immerse undergraduate students in individual research projects. This includes student involvement in the collection, analysis, presentation and writing up of primary, field based data. We have expanded our efforts to increase the participation of underrepresented groups by enhancing support for student participation in fieldwork and yearly professional development workshops. Here we highlight the diversity of voices in science by showcasing the diverse participation of scholars from multiple continents (with specific emphasis on African scholars). In this session we highlight the research being done by members of the Koobi Fora Research and Training program, discuss the current environment for undergraduate research opportunities, and discuss best practices for enhancing diversity in science through the efforts of a specific research project.

Discussant: Amy Rector
1 Add to calendar Paleoecological context of early Homo erectus from the Omo-Turkana Basin: Insights from stable Isotopes. Sahleselasie Melaku, Ashley S. Hammond, Kevin T. Uno, David B. Patterson, Maryse Biernat.
2 Add to calendar Developing a Tool for Investigating Diachronic Change in Pastoralist Settlement and Land-use in East Turkana Kenya through the use of Historic Aerial Imagery. Connor McFayden, Cody Willnerd, Philip Kyule, Medina Lubia, Matthew Douglass, Yi Qi, Emmanuel Ndiema, David Braun.
3 Add to calendar Investigating Vegetation Structure within Abandoned Dassanach Bomas. Hannah Jacobson, Venanzio Munyaka, Husna Mashaka, Ella Beaudoin, Chris Ssebuyungo, Rahab Kinyanjui, Emmanuel Ndiema, Matt Douglass.
4 Add to calendar Sub-regional Variability in East Turkana Mammalian Communities. Madeleine G. Kelly, Maryse D. Biernat, Amanda McGrosky, David R. Braun, Neil T. Roach, David R. Pilbeam.
5 Add to calendar Hominin Behavioural Ecology through the use of Organic Tools: Primate modelling and percussive tool use. Lydia V. Luncz, David R. Braun, Joao Marreiros, Marion Bamford, Susana Carvalho.
6 Add to calendar Plio-Pleistocene hominin tool use and its context in the Koobi Fora Formation. David R. Braun, Susana Carvalho, Rene Bobe, Kevin Uno, Dan Palcu, Niguss Baraki, Ashley Hammond, Eldert Advokaat, Mark Sier, Carol Ward, J. W.K. Harris, Jonathan Wynn, A. Kay Behrensmeyer, Amelia Villaseñor, Marion Bamford, David Patterson.
7 Add to calendar Archaeological evidence for the Cooking Hypothesis in the Okote Member at site FxJj20 AB. Georgia Oppenheim, Chloe Daniel-Holden, Oumeyma Ben Brahim, Russell Cutts, Dan Palcu, Kevin Uno, Caitlin Craig, Jeanwon Kim, Deanna Maybee, Teresiah Thuku, Tamara Capps, Amanda Stricklan, David R. Braun, Sarah Hlubik.
8 Add to calendar GaJj17: A Middle Stone Age site at Koobi Fora, East Turkana (Kenya). Christopher Ssebuyungo, Silindokuhle Mavuso, Debra Colarossi, Tamara Dogandzic, Kaedan O’Brien, Emmanuel Ndiema, David R. Braun, John W.K. Harris, Kathryn L. Ranhorn.
9 Add to calendar Reconstructing Vegetation Changes in Response to Holocene Climatic Variability in East Turkana, Kenya. Rahab N. Kinyanjui, Emmanuel K. Ndiema, Purity W. Kiura, David Braun, Jack W. Harris, Marion K. Bamford.
10 Add to calendar Testing East Turkana bovid mortality profiles using site-specific data. Rowan M. Sherwood, Ashley S. Hammond, Frances Forrest.
11 Add to calendar Distinct early growth trajectory among Daasanach pastoralists of Northern Kenya. Zane S. Swanson, Hilary Bethancourt, Jessica Saunders, Rosemary Nzunza, Asher Y. Rosinger, Herman Pontzer.
12 Add to calendar Dam health effects: Drinking water salinity is a key risk factor for hypertension and dilute urine among Daasanach pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Asher Y. Rosinger, Hilary Bethancourt, Zane S. Swanson, Jessica Saunders, Shiva Dhanasekar, W. larry Kenney, Sera L. Young, Rosemary Nzunza, Herman Pontzer.
13 Add to calendar A holistic approach to student engagement in field settings. Sarah K. Hlubik, Maryse Beirnat, Kathryn L. Ranhorn, Emmanuel K. Ndiema, Purity Kiura, David R. Braun.
14 Add to calendar Faunal abundances in Area 13 from the Upper Burgi Member of East Turkana. Leah K. Myerholtz, Ashley S. Hammond, Christopher Smith, Sharon Kuo.
15 Add to calendar Experimental investigation of phytoliths and combustion features and their relevance for the ‘Cooking Hypothesis` from East Turkana, Kenya. Tamara Capps, Georgia Oppenheim, Jeanwon Kim, Deanna Maybee, Michaela Howells, David R. Braun, Sarah Hlubik.
16 Add to calendar Human biology among daasanach pastoralists in northern Kenya: Water insecurity, water borrowing, and psychosocial stress . Leslie B. Ford, Hilary Bethancourt, Zane Swanson, Sera Young, Rosemary Nzunze, Herman Pontzer, Asher Y. Rosinger.
17 Add to calendar The Chronostratigraphic and Depositional History of the FxJj20 Site Complex, Northern Kenya. Caitlin Craig, Silindokuhle Mavuso, Sarah Hlubik, Shannon Warren, Wendy Khumalo, David Braun, Emmanuel Ndiema.
18 Add to calendar Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction of the Okote, KBS and Upper Burgi Members in East Turkana Using Ecomorphology of Bovid Distal Metapodials. Megan Malherbe, Frances L. Forrest.
19 Add to calendar Human Biology and the Koobi Fora Field School: New Work with the Daasanach, a Small-Scale Pastoralist Population. Jessica Saunders, Zane S. Swanson, Hilary Bethancourt, Shiva Dhanasekar, Rosemary Nzunza, Asher Y. Rosinger, Herman Pontzer.
20 Add to calendar Relative Faunal Abundance at the KNM-ER 5431 Site in Area 203 of the Koobi Fora Formation. Bri Heisler, Maryse Biernat, Amanda McGrosky.
21 Add to calendar Withdrawn. Reconstructing environmental variance in the Turkana Basin, Kenya, for the Upper Burgi Member. Silindokuhle Mavuso, Wendy H. Khumalo, Shannon Warren, Caitlin Craig, Zubair Jinnah, David Braun, Emmanuel Ndiema.
23 Add to calendar Preliminary zooarchaeological report on the Late Pleistocene faunal remains of a newly discovered fossil assemblage at Koobi Fora, Kenya. Mathilde Ribordy, Frances L. Forrest.