Dr. Julio Mercader Florín is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary. He is a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, IPHES, and a former Canada Research Chair. His work has been funded by tri-Council several times, and he currently directs a prestigious Partnership Grant from SSHRC linking North American, European, and African institutions to investigate evolutionary ecology and human origins in East Africa. His interest in human evolution and tropical ecosystems has taken Dr. Mercader to conduct work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. He is widely published in leading international journals that include Science, Nature, and PNAS among others. His current research project Stone Tools, Diet, & Sociality at the Dawn of Humanity (S.D.S.) is a multidisciplinary assessment of ancient environments and ecosystems, diet, subsistence, and technological development. His group investigates how changing paleoenvironmental conditions influenced hominin dietary choices and how these factors act as key drivers in human evolutionary research.