Prof. Dr. Katerina Harvati-Papatheodorou

Function: Director Paleoanthropology

Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology, Paläoanthropologie
Rümelinstr. 23
D-72070 Tübingen

 Room 517, Hauptgebäude, 2. OG

Consulting hours:
Wed. 14-17


Prof. Harvati is Professor for Paleoanthropology at the Institute for Archaeological Sciences and director of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment (SHEP) at the University of Tübingen. She is President of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE), and editor-in-chief of the diamond open access journal PaleoAnthropology. Before joining the University of Tübingen in 2009, she was Assistant Professor in New York University (2001-04) and Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany (2004-09).

Her research focuses on Neanderthal paleobiology, modern human origins and dispersals, and the application of virtual anthropology methods to paleoanthropology. Her broader research interests include primate evolution and life history; the relationship between the phenotype, genotype, behavior and the environment; settlement of the Americas; and the paleoanthropology of South-East Europe. She conducts long term fieldwork in Greece. 

Prof. Harvati is the recipient of three ERC grants: ERC Starting Grant PaGE (2012-16); ERC Consolidator Grant CROSSROADS (2017-22); and ERC Advanced Grant FIRSTSTEPS (2022-28). 

She was awarded with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize, the highest academic distinction in Germany, in 2021; and the Research Award of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2014, as well as the Shanghai Archaeology Forum Research Award in 2023. She was elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2022.

Since 2014, Prof. Harvati directs the DFG Centre for Advanced Studies ‘Words, Bones, Genes, Tools: Tracking linguistic, cultural and biological trajectories of the human past’ together with Prof. Jäger (Linguistics). Since 2020, she is Professor II at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), University of Bergen, Norway.

Academic and professional trajectory


 Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment

Shanghai Archeology Forum (SAF) Reserach Award

Program & Abstracts

Elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
2020 - 2022

Institute for Archaeological Sciences

Elected President, European Society for the Study of Human Evolution
Co-director, DFG Center for Advanced Studies ‘Words, Bones, Genes, Tools’
Landesforschungspreis Baden-Württemberg
W3 Professor of Paleoanthropology

Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen


Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Senior Researcher

Dept. of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Assistant Professor

Dept. of Anthropology, New York University

Ph.D. in Anthropology

City University of New York Graduate Center Dept. of Anthropology & New York Consortium on Evolutionary Primatology


Selected recent publications

Harvati K., Stringer C., Folorunso A. In press. Comparative 3D shape analysis of the Iwo Eleru mandible, Nigeria. PaleoAnthropology

Roditi E., Bocherens H., Konidaris G.E., Athanassiou A., Tourloukis V., Karkanas P., Panagopoulou E., Harvati K. 2024. Life-history of Palaeoloxodon antiquus reveals Middle Pleistocene glacial refugium in the Megalopolis basin, Greece. Scientific Reports 14, 1390. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-51592-9

Konidaris G.E., Tourloukis V., Boni G., Athanassiou A., Giusti D., Thompson N., Syrides G., Panagopoulou E., Karkanas P., Harvati K. 2023. Maratho usa 2: A New Middle Pleistocene Locality in the Megalopolis Basin (Greece) With Evidence of Hominin Exploitation of Megafauna (Hippopotamus). PaleoAnthropology 2023:1, 34-55  DOI:

Röding C., Stringer C., Lacruz R.S., Harvati K. 2023. Mugharet el’Aliya: affinities of an enigmatic North African Aterian maxillary fragment. American Journal of Biological Anthropology 180, 352-369  DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24642

Harvati K., Reyes Centeno H. 2022. Evolution of Homo in the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Journal of Human Evolution 173, 103279. Open Access:

Harvati K., Ackermann R.R. 2022. Merging morphological and genetic evidence to assess hybridization in Western Eurasian Late Pleistocene hominins. Nature Ecology & Evolution 6, 1573-1585

Konidaris G., Athanassiou A., Panagopoulou E., Harvati K. 2022. First record of Macaca (Cercopithecidae, Primates) in the Middle Pleistocene of Greece. Journal of Human Evolution 162, 103104  Open access:

Harvati K., Röding C., Bosman A., Karakostis F.A., Grün R., Stringer C., Karkanas P., Thompson N.C., Koutoulidis V., Moulopoulos L.A., Gorgoulis V.G., Kouloukoussa M. 2019. Apidima Cave fossils provide earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Eurasia. Nature 571, 500-504

Tourloukis V., Harvati K. 2018. The Palaeolithic record of Greece: a synthesis of the evidence and a research agenda for the future. Quaternary International, SI Filling the Geographic Gaps in the Human Evolutionary Story, 466, 48-65

Beier J., Anthes N., Wahl J., Harvati K. 2018. Similar cranial trauma prevalence among Neanderthals and Upper Paleolithic humans. Nature 563, 686-690

Karakostis F.A., Hotz G., Tourloukis V., Harvati K. 2018. Evidence for precision grasping in Neandertal daily activities. Science Advances 4, eaat2369

Hublin J.J., Ben-Ncer A., Bailey S., Freideline S., Neubauer S., Skinner M.M., Bergmann I., Le Cabec A., Benazzi S., Harvati K., Gunz P. 2017. New fossils from Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) and the Pan-African origin of Homo sapiens. Nature 546, 289-292

Harvati K, Roksandic, M. (Eds.) 2016. Paleoanthropology of the Balkans and Anatolia: Human Evolution and its Context. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, Springer: Dordrecht. 

Reyes-Centeno H., Ghirotto S., Détroit F., Grimaud-Hervé D., Barbujani G., Harvati K. 2014. Genomic and Cranial Phenotype Data Support Multiple Modern Human Dispersals from Africa and a Southern Route into Asia. PNAS USA 111, 7248-7253