This week Distinuished Speaker Dr. Giday Woldegabriel links geophysical processes and human origins.

  • Apr 2, 2018

EES welcomes Dr Giday Woldegabriel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory this week. His talk is titled "Geophysical Processes Created Favorable Ecological Conditions for Human Origins and Evolution in Africa".

More than three decades of geological and paleoanthropological investigations in the Afar Rift of Ethiopia at the northern part of the EARS discovered extensive paleobiological records preserved in the rift basins for millions of years. According to current paleobiological records, anatomically modern humans and their ancestors originated and inhabited the EARS for millions of years before dispersing out of Africa in the late Pleistocene. Despite harsh geological processes and environmental conditions related to intense tectonic processes and volcanic eruptions within the rift basins, favorable ecological niches allowed the sustenance, proliferation, and preservation of diverse fauna and flora, including human ancestors and other primates. The presentation will highlight the complex processes that enabled the emergence of anatomically modern humans very likely within the Afar Rift of Ethiopia.

WoldeGabriel (PhD), a native of Ethiopia, earned his PhD in Geology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1987. He then joined the Earth and Environmental sciences Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His work includes projects related to geothermal energy, environmental restoration, site characterizations for nuclear waste disposal, oil shale resources evaluation, natural phenomena hazards and rare earth elements resources in coal. He also collaborates with colleagues from around the world on geology, human origins, and the paleoenvironment in the Ethiopian Rift System. He co-organized two international workshops on ‘Transboundary Water Issues in the Nile River Basin’ and on ‘Tephra Applications to Geological and Environmental Studies'. He is a recipient of the 2001 LANL Fellows Prize and was elected Laboratory Fellow in 2010. He is also an Editorial Board Member of Quaternary International, the Journal of the International Union for Quaternary Research.

Join us to hear more about the relationship between geophysical processes and human origins on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 12:30 PM in Room 204, Natural Science Building on the East Lansing Campus.