I am an archaeologist with research interests in the origin and dispersal of early modern humans, the development of modern human behavior with a methodological focus on stone tool technology, ancient environments, prehistoric coastal/shoreline adaptation and the transition to food production with a geographic focus on northeast Africa and the Red Sea basin.
In the past ten years, I have remained active in developing collaborative research projects in three regions of eastern Africa: Eritrea, Kenya and the Sudan. My dissertation research documented new prehistoric sites (roughly ranging 150,000 – 5000 years ago in age) along the Red Sea Coast of Eritrea. This area plays a central role in the current debate about early human dispersal routes out of Africa, but had seen little prior research due to protracted political instability in the countries surrounding the Red Sea. More recently, I have developed a new project exploring early Holocene (12,000–6000 years ago) environmental changes and human adaptation in the Turkana Basin, northern Kenya. My Turkana project aims to generate high-resolution archaeological and environmental datasets relevant to understanding the cultural and ecological processes that fostered the transition to food producing economies in eastern Africa. This is an active project (funded by the National Geographic Society) involving international collaborators. At the present, I am in the process of initiating an archaeological survey along the Red Sea coast of the Republic of Sudan (with a grant from the National Science Foundation) to locate prehistoric sites associated with early human dispersal events out of Africa.