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Paleoanthropologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professor John Hawks is an expert on human evolution and genetics, best known for his work demonstrating the recent rapid evolution of humans within the past 10,000 years and for exploring the contribution of ancient Neandertals to the ancestry of people living today. He has done fieldwork in Africa, Asia, and Europe, combining skeletal evidence from fossils with new information from genetics to uncover how humans evolved. Since 2013 he has been part of the Rising Star project, which recently published its first set of results including the new hominin species Homo naledi. He is a leader in open science and his weblog is one of the top international resources on human evolution and genetics.


  • –present
    Paleoanthropologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • 1999 
    University of Michigan, Ph.D. Anthropology