Erik Trinkaus

Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Science

Erik Trinkaus

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Biography

Trinkaus is considered by many to be the world’s most influential scholar of Neandertal biology and evolution. Trinkaus’ research is concerned with the evolution of our genus as a background to recent human diversity. In this, he has focused on the paleoanthropology of late archaic and early modern humans, emphasizing biological reflections of the nature, degree and patterning of the behavioral shifts.

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Virtual reconstructions of the Xuchang 1 and 2 human crania, superimposed on the archeological site where they were discovered.

What 100,000-year-old human skulls are teaching us

Two partial archaic human skulls, from the Lingjing site, Xuchang, central China, provide a new window into the biology and populations patterns of the immediate predecessors of modern humans in eastern Eurasia. Securely dated to about 100,000 years ago, the Xuchang fossils present a mosaic of features.

Skulls of early humans carry telltale signs of inbreeding, study suggests

Buried for 100,000 years at Xujiayao in the Nihewan Basin of northern China, the recovered skull pieces of an early human exhibit a now-rare congenital deformation that indicates inbreeding might well have been common among our ancestors, new research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Washington University in St. Louis suggests.​

New evidence for the earliest modern humans in Europe

The timing, process and archaeology of the peopling of Europe by early modern humans have been actively debated for more than a century. Reassessment of the anatomy and dating of a fragmentary upper jaw with three teeth from Kent’s Cavern in southern England has shed new light on these issues. 

Trinkaus, Yokoyama to receive faculty achievement awards

Erik Trinkaus, PhD, considered by many to be the world’s most influential scholar of Neandertal and early modern human biology and evolution, and Wayne M. Yokoyama, MD, an internationally renowned immunologist and arthritis researcher, will receive Washington University’s 2011 faculty achievement awards, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced.