Zeray Alemseged is a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago and holds the Donald N. Pritzker professorship. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a Senior Curator of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco where he held the Irvine Chair of Anthropology. He was also Adjunct Professor at the University of California Davis and a Research Professor at San Francisco State University. Before joining CAS, he was a senior scientist in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University based in Tempe, Arizona. He earned his PhD from the University of Paris, France, in paleoanthropology and his BSc in geology form Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
His broader research interests include human evolution and paleoanthropology and the exploration of the biotic and abiotic factors that shaped the evolution of humans and extinct ancestral species. To this end, he undertakes extensive fieldwork and employs cutting edge imaging techniques to investigate the evolutionary process and mechanisms that led to the emergence of Homo sapiens. He explores both the biological and cultural transformations that occurred over the past 6 millions years since humans diverged from the apes. His current research focuses on growth and development, diet and tool use in the earliest human ancestors as well as the underpinning environmental and ecological factors affecting their evolutionary trajectory. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, specialized human evolution journals, and has contributed to several high-profile journals including Nature, Science and the PNAS on the subject of human evolution in Africa.
Donald N. Pritzker Professor by the University of Chicago, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences