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From Hominin to Human

Posted on November 12, 2015 by in The OFI Blog

National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Fellow Dr. Rene Dommain is part of the Human Origins Program. He uses sediment cores from Olorgosailie, Kenya to study prehistoric climate.

Olorgosailie region is in the southern Kenya Rift Valley, an area where early hominins lived between 1.2 million and 490,000 years ago. The cores were taken in 2012 as part of the Olorgosailie Dilling Project, and they preserve a climatic record of the past 500,000 years.

Scientists know that early hominins lived and evolved on Olorgosailie site. By studying prehistoric climatic changes, they hope to provide new insights into human evolution.

In the video above, Rene talks about his research and its significance. The video was filmed during Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robin Lerner’s visit to the Smithsonian. To learn more about her visit, as well as other international Smithsonian Fellows, click here.