Interests: taphonomy, hominid-animal interactions, paleoanthropology, , domestication, history of physical anthropology, Africa
My research has focused on two main themes: 1) Taphonomy and paleoanthropology, particularly the ancient environments and communities in which our ancestors lived and evolved; and 2) the history of science with a focus on the influence of gender, class, and social standing on the acceptance or rejection of scientific information. This has involved work on fossil sites, collections, or archives from Australia, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, England, France, Holland, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, North America, Romania, Spain, Yugoslavia, Tanzania, and Turkey. My research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Leakey Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Boise Fund, the National Geographic Society, the Foundation for Research into the Origin of Man, and institutional research grants from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I have also written eleven highly praised books for general audiences including studies of questions in science, scientific discoveries (THE NEANDERTALS, TAKING WING, WISDOM OF THE BONES), and biographies, including one on Eugene Dubois, the discoverer of “Java Man”, now known as Homo erectus; one of Florence Baker, a remarkable Victorian lady who searched for the source of the Nile; and one of Mata Hari, famous as an Oriental dancer and for being accused and wrongly convicted of spying during World War I. Two of my books were featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review and two have won major literary prizes. My forthcoming book, THE ANIMAL CONNECTION, presents a new perspective on our interactions with animals and how they have shaped human evolution.