Professor of Human Origins, George Washington University
Paper: "When Did Humanity Emerge?"
Bernard Wood is presently the University Professor of Human Origins at the George Washington University and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution. He is also Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Evolutionary History at George Washington University. Dr. Wood is a medically qualified paleoanthropologist who practiced as a surgeon before moving into full-time academic life in 1972.
When he was still a medical student he joined Richard Leakey's first expedition to what was then Lake Rudolf in 1968 and he has remained associated with that research group, and pursued research in paleoanthropology, ever since. His research centers on increasing our understanding of human evolutionary history by developing and improving the ways we analyze the hominin fossil record, and on using the principles of bioinformatics to improve the ways we store and collate data about the hominin fossil record. He has a special interest in the recognitionof species and genera in the hominin fossil record, and he collaborates with researchers interested in the evolution of non-hominins in the interests of ensuring that we analyze hominin evolution in a proper comparative context. He has written one of the monographs in the series on the Koobi Fora site, and publishes papers on paleoanthropological topics. He is the author or co-author of eight books, and is the editor of the forthcoming Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Human Evolution.