Free Public Programs
MJC West Campus
7:30 pm–
Sierra Hall 132

FALL 2015

October 23 "New Insights into Human Evolution from the Rising Star Cave in South Africa"


Dr. Debi Bolter, MJC Professor and Research Associate, Evolutionary Studies Institute, South Africa, will present her work on remarkable fossils remains recently discovered at Rising Star.

The Rising Star fossil remains found in the Cradle of Humankind represent a collection of multiple individuals who laid buried 30 meters underground, undisturbed until recreational cavers accidentally stumbled on the hidden chamber in 2013.  Dr. Bolter’s talk will be an overview of the cave site, the context of the chamber, and a discussion of the new insights on human evolution that this collection of over 1500 specimens provides to anthropologists and paleoanthropologists.

Debra Bolter is an Anthropology Professor at Modesto Junior College in Northern California.  Her research on primate life history focuses on early life stages of development; she approaches the study of immature individuals through the integration of information from multiple systems: cranial, dental, skeletal, and from soft tissue like muscle, fat and skin.  Her research on growth and development includes vervet and colobine monkeys, and apes -- both species of chimpanzees, gibbons, and gorillas.  Overview articles lay out her approach to evolution of growth, development and life history, implications for interpretation of fossil growth and development during human evolution, and more recently, interpretations of soft tissue body composition evolution from australopithecines to Homo.  She is a Research Associate in the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she studies newly excavated hominin fossil materials from South Africa.  













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