ICArEHB Dialogues ‘Origins of Human Behaviour’ , took place on Friday 23rd of April at 4pm (Faro time) in videoconference, with Robert Foley and Susana Carvalho, and was convened by Ricardo Godinho.
Robert Foley is the Leverhulme Professor of Human Evolution Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, and a Life Fellow of King’s College. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2007, and was appointed a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in 2019. In 2001 he co-founded with Marta Mirazón Lahr the Wellcome Trust funded Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies at Cambridge. His research has focused on the evolution and ecology of humans, and on understanding humans in terms of general and comparative models of Darwinian evolution. This has led to work on human evolution, exploring such issues as the relationship between climate and evolution, coevolution among African mammals, social evolution in adaptive and phylogenetic contexts, and the development of phylogenetic approaches to technological and linguistic change. Work outside palaeobiology has included evolutionary psychology, landscape archaeology, genetic diversity and the evolution of stars. With Marta Mirazón Lahr he is currently involved in major field projects in northern and central Kenya. His books include Off-Site Archaeology, Another Unique Species, Humans before Humanity, and Principles of Human Evolution.
Susana Carvalho is a palaeo-anthropologist turned primatologist, committed to research on human behavioural evolution. She has spent 15 years studying the technological and locomotor behaviours of wild chimpanzees and baboons in Africa, while looking for the oldest archaeological sites in the ‘cradles of humankind’. She has founded a new sub-discipline: Primate Archaeology, now thriving with dozens of researchers and hundreds of publications. She hypothesised that technology would be older than the genus Homo (2.8 Ma) and today we know hominin sites at 3.3 Ma. She was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2016. In 2015, she became Associate Professor of Palaeoanthropology at the University of Oxford, and Associate Director of Palaeo-anthropology at Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, where she leads the ‘Paleo-Primate Project’. She founded the Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab, keeping her research group inclusive and healthily productive and to become an inspiring example of interdisciplinary research. She is a Fellow of St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and is a member of ICArEHB.