Distinguished Speaker Series:
Matthew Tocheri, Ph.D.
Evolution and the Significance of the Hobbits
Dr. Matthew Tocheri
Canada Research Chair in Human Origins
Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd.,
Winter Springs, FL 32708
We don’t know everything about our early ancestors—but we keep learning more! Paleoanthropologists constantly work in the field, excavating new areas with groundbreaking technology, and continually filling in some of the gaps about our understanding of human evolution. Recent excavations include remains of one of the most recently discovered early human species, Homo floresiensis (nicknamed ‘Hobbit’), and have so far only been found on the Island of Flores, Indonesia. This species was approximately 3 feet 6 inches tall, possibly the results of island dwarfism.
In this talk we will discuss hypotheses about how, when and why this particular human species became extinct, and whether modern humans (Homo sapiens) played any direct or indirect role in this process.
About Dr. Matthew Tocheri:
Matt Tocheri is Canada Research Chair in Human Origins, in Lakehead University’s Department of Anthropology. He is also a Research Associate in the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. He received his academic degrees in anthropology from Lakehead University (HBA) in Thunder Bay, Canada, and Arizona State University (MA and PhD) in Tempe, Arizona. Matt’s main research interests surround the evolutionary history and functional morphology of the human and great ape family, the Hominidae. His work on the wrist of Homo floresiensis, the so-called ‘hobbits’ of human evolution, received considerable attention worldwide after it was published in 2007 in the journal Science. Matt’s other recent publications appear in Nature, PNAS, Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Journal of Anatomy, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Dental Anthropology, and Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. He is also a co-author of The Osteology of Infants and Children, available from Texas A&M University Press.