St Hugh’s Associate Professor Susana Carvalho, Fellow in Paleoanthroplogy, is to lead a multi-year collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.
The ‘Paleo-Primate Project’ has assembled an interdisciplinary team with expertise in geology, speleology, palaeontology, palaeobotany, archaeology, primatology, genetics and conservation biology.
The research group includes academics from seven countries, and their preliminary work has already led to the discovery of the first Miocene mammal fossils to be found in the Rift Valley of Gorongosa National Park.
Professor Carvalho said the research could yield new insights into the evolution of our earliest human ancestors. The multidisciplinary project will also focus on studying modern primates and their behavioural adaptations to the Gorongosa ecology, to model how, in the past, our human ancestors may have succeeded living in similar habitats.