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Speaking and events

My talks are catered to your audience with the goal of giving them new ways of thinking about humans and our ancient relatives.

Speaking and events

I love to visit places and groups to share the latest research and perspectives on our origins. I have done keynotes as large as 6000 attendees and groups as small as a pub table. I am always happy to share something about my own research, but some of my most fun events are those where I work with organizers to craft a unique session for your group.

Many of my events have been for groups of physicians, engineers, business leaders, or other professionals. I enjoy bringing the enduring questions of human origins to life for people with deep expertise in professional fields.

I've been able to do some great remote events during the last few years also. I'm really looking forward to more and more in-person events and looking for opportunities now.

I do a number of events for K-12 classrooms in Wisconsin every year, and I am always happy to plan workshops and sessions for educators across the U.S. Please reach out you would like to find ways to bring a broader perspective on evolution to your group.

If you are a journalist or member of the media, I'll be happy to talk with you—please check out my contact page.

Highlights of past events


  • Las raíces enredadas de nuestra especie: nuevos descubrimientos desde África. Coloquio Internacional de Antropología Física Juan Comas, Asociación Mexicana de Antropología Biológica, Ciudad de México.
  • Opening new frontiers in human origins. Richard Leakey Memorial Conference, Stony Brook University. Video
  • Taxonomy and hominin systematics in the Middle Pleistocene. Wenner-Gren Symposium on Chibanian Hominin Systematics, Novi Sad, Serbia.
  • Understanding Homo naledi. University of Copenhagen.
  • Ranking humanity among the primates. Dartmouth College.
  • Finding ancient minds in the human evolutionary tree. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Video


  • Who and what is Homo naledi? Cambridge University Biological Anthropology Society.
  • Human ancestors in the caves of South Africa. Milwaukee Public Museum.
  • From Kansas State to the Cradle of Humankind. Kansas State University.
  • How ancient DNA is changing our picture of human origins. Madison Gem and Mineral Club.
  • Webinar: Sharing with the public and getting the academy to count it. American Association of Biological Anthropologists.


  • Panel: Big ideas for busy people. Wisconsin Science Festival.
  • Taking the science of human origins into the next decade. Distinguished Lecture, General Anthropology Division.
  • Panelist: Higher education reform and the value of a liberal arts education. Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Wisconsin Chapter.
  • The new mysteries of human origins. Badger Talks Live. Video
  • Panel on genetics and genomics: The genetic legacy of archaic humans. American Association of Biological Anthropologists.
  • Human origins and evolution. Hamilton Middle School, Madison, WI.


  • Thinking hybrid: How to engage with reticulate evolution in human origins. Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, University of California, San Diego.
  • Discoveries that shed new light on our African origin. North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Latest research from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Down Ancient Trails series, Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India.


  • New discoveries and insights into our African origins. Institute for School Partnership, Washington University, St. Louis.
  • The Rising Star fossil discoveries and the mysterious Homo naledi. Tanner Lecture, Bean Life Sciences Museum, Provo, Utah.
  • Workshop: Navigating public engagement and media on the tenure track. American Anthropological Association.
  • Workshop: Exploration as a way of understanding evolution. Brigham Young University.
  • Panel on science communication. Kavli Foundation.
  • Research and public engagement in an African context. Association of College and Research Libraries, Anthropology and Sociology Section.


  • Origins of our species: Advances in our understanding of ancient humans in Africa. Presidential Symposium. American Society of Human Genetics.
  • Discovering human ancestors in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. AeroConf IEEE Aerospace Conference 2018. Big Sky, Montana.
  • Homo naledi and Middle Pleistocene Africa. Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing, China.
  • The braided stream: Deep time and diversity in human origins. Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Who were the ancestors of the Neanderthals? Calpe 2018 Conference, Gibraltar.
  • Hybrids and Ghosts: How ancient DNA and new fossils are changing the science of human origins. Michigan State University.