Hominid Hunting, a blog project of Smithsonian Magazine, recently came out with its Top 10 Hominid Discoveries of 2011, which features three discoveries involving Texas A&M anthropology professors. The first, fourth, and fifth highest-ranking discoveries on the list pertain to the respective research of Associate Professor Darryl de Ruiter and Professor Michael Waters. The number one find according to the blog’s author is the discovery of Australopithecus sediba, a find which involved the work of de Ruiter. Darryl de Ruiter was also a researcher in the number five find, which indicates early hominid movement based on sex. Waters’ research on pre-Clovis tools garnered the attention of The New York Times and Science magazine and ranks number four on the list.
Cynthia Werner, head of the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, said that having scholarly participation in three out of ten major discoveries for the year is indicative of the research programs ongoing at Texas A&M University.
“Any department would be fortunate to make Smithsonian Magazine’s Top 10 List of Hominid Discoveries in 2011,” Werner said. “The fact that faculty members in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University are actively involved in three of the top discoveries attests to the overall strength of our department.”