This fall quarter, Professor Zeray Alemseged’s “Human Origins: Milestones in Human Evolution” class visited our lab several times to to delve deeper into the fossil record and learn about cutting edge imaging and visualization techniques . During these sessions, students worked both independently and in small groups to identify and study casts of fossil dating from as far back as 7 million years ago to recent times when our species emerged 200, 000 years ago. They also had access to some of the rarest hominin finds uncovered by Prof. Alemseged.
Students were able to experience novel visualization research methods known as virtual anthropology. They learned how to use segmentation software to peer inside and isolate CT scanning data of fossils.
The experience was very enriching as it combined traditional morphological studies and innovative imaging techniques to answer the question: “How did we become human?”