Function: Director Paleoanthropology
Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology, Paläoanthropologie
Office: Room 517, Hauptbäude, 2. OG
Prof. Harvati is a paleoanthropologist specializing in Neanderthal evolution, modern human origins and the application of 3-D geometric morphometric and virtual anthropology methods to paleoanthropology.
Her broader research interests include primate and human evolution; evolutionary theory; evolution of primate and human life-history; the relationship of morphological variability to population history and the environment; and Paleolithic archaeology. She has conducted fieldwork in Europe and Africa, and recently directed paleoanthropological fieldwork in Greece and Tanzania.
Her work has been published in Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Evolutionary Anthropology, Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology and other peer-reviewed international journals. She is the editor of two volumes in the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology series of Springer Verlag: on Neanderthal paleobiology and on the Paleoanthropology of the Balkans.
Her research was named one of the top 10 scientific discoveries of the year 2007 by TIME magazine for demonstrating the African origin of all modern humans (link to the article). In 2010 she was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (link to the site). She was awarded the prestigious Research Award of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2014 (basic research). Her work on the Apidima human fossils from Greece was listed among the most important scientific discoveries of the year 2019 (The Guardian; Discover Magazine; Livescience) and the decade (Gizmodo).
Prof. Harvati is the recipient of two ERC grants (ERC Starting Grant ‘Paleoanthropology at the Gates of Europe’, 2011; ERC Consolidator Grant ‘Human Evolution at the Crossroads’, 2016). In addition to her ongoing Consolidator Grant (CROSSROADS) she directs the DFG Centre for Advanced Studies ‘Words, Bones, Genes, Tools: Tracking linguistic, cultural and biological trajectories of the human past’ together with Prof. Gerhard Jäger (Linguistics).
Since 2009 Prof. Harvati also holds an adjunct Professorship of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center and is resource faculty for the New York Consortium of Evolutionary Primatology.