Jason is a palaeontologist and a Research Associate Professor with the Turkana Basin Institute and lecturer at Stony Brook University in the USA. He previously served a 3-year appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University.
Jason’s research main research interest lies in reconstructing the palaeoecological contexts in which our prehistoric ancestors evolved during the Plio-Pleistocene. To do this, he analyses fossil faunas from excavated sites using paleontological, ecometric and stable isotope approaches to build an accurate reconstruction of the ecological settings that influenced hominin anatomical evolution, as well as changes in subsistence strategies and innovations in cognition, technology and social behaviour.
In West Turkana, Jason is analyzing Pliocene faunas to understand diversification within the hominin lineage leading up to the emergence of the genus Homo, the origins of stone tool making as seen at Lomekwi 3, and associated changes in hominin diets. In addition, he is currently co-directing research at the Late Pleistocene site of Kisese II in Tanzania, where he is reconstructing the paleoecological backdrop to the beginning of the Later Stone Age and of modern human expansions; and at the sites of Orgnac 3 and Le Grand Abri aux Puces in France he is exploring hominin subsistence strategies in the Middle and Late Pleistocene using zooarchaeological and taphonomic methods.
In his own words
What do you like about being in the field in Turkana?
“I really appreciate the camaraderie of the field team, which is a mix of people from all over the world, and many different groups within Kenya. All of our individual strengths combine to make a safe, successful, and pleasant research experience.”
What do you miss when you are in the field?
“Watching my favorite TV shows!”
Tell us a unique fact about yourself…
“I’m originally from Pennsylvania and attended the now infamous Dover Area High School, which in 2005-2006 was embroiled in a very important intelligent design versus evolution court case.”
For further information about Jason or to contact him directly, please visit his page on Researchgate.