St. Edward's University Presents the Fall 2009 Brother Lucian Blersch Symposium
The symposium will address new ideas on hominid evolution, specifically new opinions on fossils. Additionally, presenters will address the latest evidence on our African linage in addition to a new perspective on preexisting evidence of Neandertals in Europe.
This year’s symposium will feature two human paleontology researchers, who will present information on the latest discoveries in the field. The head speakers include Carol Ward and David Frayer, who will tackle age old questions concerning human evolution, such as what were the earliest hominids like? What did they eat? Or when did we gain our distinctive features such as manual dexterity, bipedal locomotion and large brains? Recent developments in fossil discoveries along with new approaches to understanding existing fossils offer advancement in our understanding of our origins and evolution.
Ward, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Missouri, conducts research based on fossils from East and South Africa, which cover a crucial time span when Miocene apes were diversifying and ultimately gave rise to early bipedal hominins or australopithecines.
Frayer, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas, focuses his research on the evolution of European Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic populations, stressing that evolution did not stop with the appearance of “modern” Homo sapiens. His more recent work has expanded to include several topics ranging from the Pakistani Neolithic to early Homo in Eritrea and even a critique on Homo floresiensis (also known as the hobbit).
Allan Hook is the Lucian Professor of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University and is responsible for organizing this symposium. Hook has been a facility member since 1988 and his research centers on the behavioral and biodiversity of solitary wasps. His education includes a BS in Biology from the University of Maine, and an MS in Entomology from the University of Georgia and PhD in Zoology and Entomology from Colorado State University.
About the Brother Lucian Blersch Symposium:
Organized by the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward's University, the symposium honors Brother Lucian Blersch, CSC, a longtime professor of engineering at St. Edward ‘s who died in 1986 and in whose name a professorship in the School of Natural Sciences was endowed by a gift from J. B.N. Morris and his family.