(RHOI-Supported) The Hominoid Analytical Working Group met March 27-29, 2008 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Organized by Jay Kelley and George Koufos and hosted by Professor Koufos and the Aristotle University of Thessalonki, the meeting topic was, "Late Miocene Euro-African hominoids and their relationships." Further details to follow.

Hominoid Conference Participants (Image: G. Koufos)



In honor of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Baccinello Oreopithecus bambolii skeleton by J. Hürzeler, the Vertebrate Paleontology Research Group at the University of Florence and the Functional Morphology and Evolution Research Unit at the Hull York Medical School are organising A Colloquium on European Fossil Primates to be held in Siena and Grosseto, Italy from September 11-13, 2008.

The program includes invited lectures, podium and poster presentations, and field trips to late Miocene outcrops in the Baccinello Basin. The deadline for abstracts and early registration is June 30, 2008. Contact Lorenzo Rook ( of the Universita di Firenze, or Sarah Elton ( of the Hull York Medical School to register, submit an abstract or with general questions on the colloquium. Click the image below to download a PDF of the announcement.

A Colloquium on European Fossil Primates (Image: L. Rook)



The Conference on Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, and Archaeology was held between January 12th and 14th, 2008, in Addis Ababa. Organized by the Ministry and ARCCH, this stimulating and productive gathering involved RHOI members from several Projects and Analytical Working Groups.

Conference Participants

(From left) Dr. Berhane Asfaw; Dr. Giday WoldeGabriel; Prof. Tim White;
His Excellency, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ambassador
Mohamoud Dirir (MP); and other dignitaries and colleagues.




(RHOI-supported) The Primatology Meets Palaeoanthropology Conference was held April 17-19, 2007 in Cambridge, England. Organized by W. McGrew and R. Foley of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies (LCHES), the conference met to discuss the ways in which cooperation among primatologists and paleoanthropologists can stimulate research. Participants included: Sandi Copeland, John Gowlett, John Harris, Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Kevin Hunt, Stephen Lycett, Linda Marchant, Jim Moore, Kaye Reed, Kathy Schick, Craig Stanford, Nick Toth, Natalie Uonomi, Carel van Shaik, Elisabetta Visalberghi, Alan Walker, Andrew Whiten, and Richard Wrangham. Wrangham's research, presented at this conference, was also recently the subject of a News Focus piece by Ann Gibbons in Science (v. 316 n. 5831, pp. 1558-1560).

PMP 2007 Conference Participants (Image: W. McGrew)



(RHOI-supported) The Langebaanweg 2006 Workshop and Symposium was held at the Iziko South African Museum in the summer of 2006. Organized by Thalassa Matthews, Roger Smith, and Pippa Haarhof, the workshop was attended by local and international scholars who exchanged research results and ideas for future study of the fossil fauna, flora, and geology of Langebaanweg. For 50 years now Langebaanweg has been an important window into the Miocene of South Africa. As this recent workshop highlights, continued research promises to produce new and interesting information.

(Image: Iziko South African Museum)



The AGU Meeting in San Francisco featured a number of abstracts focusing on geologic investigations of the upper Miocene and lower Pliocene of the Old World.

SVP 2005

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Phoenix this year had several abstracts of interest to researchers working in the upper Miocene and lower Pliocene of the Old World.



The first organized symposium highlighting the importance of paleotourism took place at the Bilen Lodge in the Afar Region of Ethiopia in July 2004. Dr. Y. Beyene, head of anthropology and archaeology of the ARCCH, stressed the importance of understanding, preserving, and making responsible use of prehistoric resources as worldwide interest grows steadily. Other presenters included Dr. Z. Alemseged, Dr. T. White, Dr. J. Kappelman, and others. A followup conference has been organized.

Ethiopian paleotourism conference


On the occasion of the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy, we convened a symposium entitled: The paleobiogeographic history of the Tethys and Mediterranean: evidence from land vertebrate distribution (Symposium G17-10, Sunday August 22nd). Over the course of a day, and an ensuing day-long workshop that followed, the symposium participants examined the tectonic history of the East African rift, progress to date on selected late Miocene European, West Asian and East African faunas and selected mammalian lineages that extended their ranges between Eurasia and Africa during the late Miocene. A targeted subject of these meetings was discussion on two alternative hypotheses on the biogeographic origin of the African ape-human clade: the "Out of Europe" hypothesis versus the "Intra-African" hypothesis. A summary of this symposium's results will be submitted for publication in a peer-review journal, and further research on these subjects will continue to be pursued by the participants. -R. Bernor & L. Rook


The November 2004 meeting of the Geological Society of America is being held in Denver and features several presentations of interest to workers stuyding the origins of hominids. Many of these will be given in session T106 entitled: Geological context of early humans from Ethiopian rift basins. Presentations will cover geological work being undertaken at Gona, Hadar, the Middle Awash, the Turkana Basin, Dikika, and others. See the GSA website for additional information.


The upcoming AGU Paleoclimate and Evolution Meeting is being held in San Francisco and will feature sessions entitled: African continental paleoclimate and hominid evolution and Antarctic climate, Neogene proxies and climate modeling.


(January 2005) The Ethiopian Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mekele University, the Tigray Regional State, the Afar Regional State, and Walta Information Center are organizing an international symposium to highlight the significance of paleoanthropology and ecology related tourism in Ethiopia. Sessions held will discuss the scientific importance discoveries and discovery locations and also the potential economic benefit of responsible development of prehistoric and ecological resources. The conference will be held in January 2005 in eastern Tigray.

SVP 2004

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meetings in Denver this year will host a number of presentations of interest to researchers working on the origin of hominids. Citations of interest are posted in the RHOI bibliography.