Human Evolution

An anthropologist looks at a small fragment of bone.

Dr. Scott Simpson has been active in paleoanthropological field and laboratory research in Ethiopia since 1992 as a member of the Middle Awash Research Project, the Gona Research Project, and he is currently the Director of the Galili Paleobiology Project.  In this research, he has analyzed and published papers on a number of hominin taxa, including Ardipithecus kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Au. afarensis, Homo erectus, in addition to describing the oldest hominin from Ethiopia and contributing to the naming of the enigmatic hominin, Au. garhi. The Galili study area is the southern-most terminal Miocene-mid Pliocene-aged (5.3-3.7 Ma) fossil-rich deposits in the Afar Depression and >4000 fossils have been recovered to date including over 40 hominins.

For conducting comparative analyses, the University Circle area includes the nearby Cleveland Museum of Natural History that currently curates the Hamann-Todd Osteological collection in the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology including >3100 well-documented human skeletons, over 900 primate skeletons, a large collection of non-primate vertebrate specimens and many research-quality casts of hominin and primate fossils. 

Recent Publications

  1. Levin, N.E.; Simpson, S.W.; Quade, J.; Frost, S.R.; Semaw, S., et al., (2022) The 6-million-year record of ecological change at Gona, Afar Region, Ethiopia. In S.C. Reynolds & R. Bobe (eds) African Paleoecology and Human Evolution.  Cambridge University Press.
  2. Simpson, S.W. (2022) The Human Journey Begins:  Origins and Diversity in Early Hominins.  for C.S. Larsen (Ed.).  A Companion to Biological Anthropology (2nd Ed.).  Wiley-Blackwell. 
  3. Suwa, G., Sasaki, T., Semaw, S., Rogers, M.J., Simpson, S.W., Kunimatsu, Y., Nakasukasa, M., Kono, R.T., Zhang, Y., Beyene, Y., Asfaw, B., White, T.D. (2021) Canine sexual dimorphism in Ardipithecus ramidus was nearly human-like.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  118(49), e2116630118
  4. Simpson, S.W.; Levin, N.E.; Quade, J.; Rogers, M.; Semaw, S.  (2019) The postcranial fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus from Gona, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 129, 1-45.
  5. Simpson, S.W.; Latimer, B.; Lovejoy, C.O. (2018) Why do knuckle-walking African apes knuckle-walk? The Anatomical Record 301(3), 496-514.