65 episodes

This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.

Origin Stories The Leakey Foundation

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 330 Ratings

This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.

    Discovering Us

    Discovering Us

    In this episode, we talk with Evan Hadingham, senior science editor for the PBS program NOVA. His new book, Discovering Us: 50 Great Discoveries in Human Origins, highlights the thrilling fossil finds, groundbreaking primate behavior observations, and important scientific work of Leakey Foundation researchers. Want to win your own copy of the book? Take our listener survey for a chance to win one of three giveaway copies! Discovering Us is also available for sale anywhere you buy books, but when you buy it through bookshop.org, 10% of the proceeds go to support our work. Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.

    Support this show and the science we talk about. Your donations will be matched by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
    leakeyfoundation.org/donate 
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream on the first and third Thursday of every month.
    leakeyfoundation.org/live
    This episode was produced by Ray Pang. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Theme music by Henry Nagle. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions and Lee Roservere.

    • 23 min
    Top Human Origins Discoveries of 2021

    Top Human Origins Discoveries of 2021

    2021 was a big year in science! Fossil discoveries introduced new relatives to our family tree, new findings added fascinating twists to the human story, and breakthroughs in research methods opened new worlds to explore. In this episode, five scientists discuss their favorite human origins discoveries of 2021.
    Click here for a transcript of this episode.
    Our guests:
    Scott A. Williams, New York University
    Jessica Thompson, Yale University
    Giulia Gallo, University of California at Davis
    Fernando Villanea, University of Colorado at Boulder
    Erin Kane, Boston University
    Read more about their top discoveries:
    Dragon Man
    Late Middle Pleistocene Harbin cranium represents a new Homo species 
    Stunning ‘Dragon Man' skull may be an elusive Denisovan—or a new species of human
    'Dragon man' claimed as new species of ancient human but doubts remain 

    SedaDNA
    Unearthing Neanderthal population history using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from cave sediments
    Bacho Kiro
    Initial Upper Palaeolithic humans in Europe had recent Neanderthal ancestry
    Early Homo sapiens groups in Europe faced subarctic climates
    Like Neanderthals, Early Humans Endured a Frigid Europe
    White Sands footprints
    Evidence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum
    Ancient Footprints Push Back Date of Human Arrival in the Americas
    National Park Services White Sands Website
    Camera trap research on Dryas monkeys
    A natural history of Chlorocebus dryas from camera traps in Lomami National Park and its buffer zone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, with notes on the species status of Cercopithecus salongo 
    Using local knowledge and camera traps to investigate occurrence and habitat preference of an Endangered primate: the endemic dryas monkey in the Democratic Republic of the Congo-
    Picture Perfect: Camera Traps Find Endangered Dryas Monkeys 
    The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    This month, thanks to Jorge and Ann Leis and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, all donations will be quadruple-matched. Click here to make a donation!
    Credits
    This episode was hosted and produced by Meredith Johnson and Ray Pang. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. 
    Music by Henry Nagle and Lee Roservere. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions.
    Please send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at +1(707)788-8582
    Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message
    Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live

    • 31 min
    Biruté Mary Galdikas - 50 Years with Orangutans

    Biruté Mary Galdikas - 50 Years with Orangutans

    As a young girl, Biruté Mary Galdikas dreamed of going to the forests of Southeast Asia to study the least-known of all the great apes, the elusive orangutan. People told her it would be impossible. But, in 1971, she traveled to Borneo and started what is now the longest ongoing study of orangutans in the history of science. This is her story.
    She was the third in the group of now world-famous scientists known as the Trimates—Jane Goodall in Tanzania, Dian Fossey in Rwanda, and Biruté Mary Galdikas in Borneo. The Trimates were the first women to establish long-term studies of great apes in the wild. They were all mentored by Louis Leakey.
    Their work formed the basis of everything science now knows about chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. And they've inspired generations of researchers and conservationists to follow in their footsteps.
    Today's episode celebrates Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas and her half-century of field research and orangutan conservation work.
    About our guest
    Dr. Galdikas is the founder and president of Orangutan Foundation International. She's a research professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and Professor Extraordinaire at the Universitas Nasional in Jakarta. She's a 19-time Leakey Foundation grantee, and she was one of Louis Leakey's last proteges in his lifetime.
    Links
    Orangutan Foundation International Ways to get involved Learn about palm oil Credits
    Ray Pang produced this episode. Sound design by Ray Pang. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Meredith Johnson is the host and executive producer of Origin Stories. Thanks to Talain Blanchon for audio of Dr. Galdikas in the field and for recording our interview with Dr. Galdikas in his studio. And special thanks to Marcus Foley and Emily Patton for all their help.
    Archival lecture audio is from The Leakey Foundation archive.
    Music by Henry Nagle and Lee Roservere.
    Please send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at +1(707)788-8582
    Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message
    Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org
    The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    Thanks to Jeanne Newman and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, all donations to support the podcast will be quadruple-matched. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate and use the notes field to let us know your donation is for Origin Stories.
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live

    • 33 min
    Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began

    Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began

    Scientists agree that dogs evolved from wolves, but exactly how and when that happened is hotly contested. In this episode, Origin Stories contributor Neil Sandell examines the evolution of the relationship between dogs and humans, and explores the journey from wolf to dog.
    This story was originally produced for the CBC program IDEAS. 
    Click here for a transcript of this episode.
    Guests in this episode: (in order of appearance)
    Angela Perri is an archaeologist at Durham University, U.K.
    Sebastian Dicenaire is a French playwright and audio producer living in Brussels
    Greger Larson is director of the Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network at the University of Oxford, U.K.
    Kathryn Lord is an evolutionary biologist at the Karlsson Lab of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Broad Institute.
    Mietje Germonpré is a palaeontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.
    Sarah Marshall-Pescini is a behavioural scientist at the Wolf Science Center in Austria, and the Domestication Lab at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.
    Friederike Range is a biologist and co-founder of the Wolf Science Center. She is a research professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.
    Giulia Cimarelli is a biologist at the Wolf Science Center, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Domestication Lab at University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. 
    Credits
    This episode was produced by Neil Sandell. Find him on Twitter.
    Send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at (707) 788-8582 Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    All donations to support the podcast will be quadruple-matched thanks to Jeanne Newman and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate and use the notes field to let us know your donation is in support of Origin Stories.
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live

    • 54 min
    Short and Sweat

    Short and Sweat

    Learn about the evolution of our extraordinary ability to cool ourselves down. Biological anthropologist Andrew Best discusses the past, present, and future of sweat in this special bonus episode.
    About our guest
    Dr. Andrew Best is a biological anthropologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who studies metabolism, endurance, and the evolution of sweat. Visit his website to learn more about him and his research.
    Click here for a one-minute video about his Leakey Foundation-supported research project on the evolution of sweat glands.
    Episode Transcript
    Google Doc Transcript PDF Transcript Links to more sweaty science 
    The science of sweat Giving sweat the respect it deserves  The weird science of how sweat attracts  Open access research papers of interest
    Human Locomotion and Heat Loss: An Evolutionary Perspective Repeated mutation of a developmental enhancer
    contributed to human thermoregulatory evolution Credits
    This episode was produced by Ray Pang. To keep up with and learn more about his work, follow Ray at @PangRay on Twitter. 
    Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Meredith Johnson is the host and executive producer of Origin Stories.
    Music by Henry Nagle and Lee Roservere.
    Send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at +1(707) 788-8582 Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    All donations to support the podcast will be quadruple-matched thanks to Jeanne Newman and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate and use the notes field to let us know your donation is in support of Origin Stories.
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live!

    • 17 min
    Monkeys Get Creative

    Monkeys Get Creative

    Producer and scientist Kevin McLean travels to an island off the coast of Panama where researchers have found an isolated group of monkeys with a creative approach to surviving in a challenging environment.
    Links
    These tiny monkeys have entered their Stone Age with a bang
    First report of habitual stone tool use by Cebus monkeys
    Habitual Stone-Tool Aided Extractive Foraging in White-Faced Capuchins, Cebus Capucinus
    Video of capuchins using tools
    Research presentation on social learning by Leakey Foundation grantee Brendan Barrett
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies
    Claudio Montezo Moreno's biodiversity research website
    Send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at (707) 788-8582 Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    All donations to support the podcast will be quadruple-matched thanks to Jeanne Newman and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate and use the notes field to let us know your donation is in support of Origin Stories.
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
330 Ratings

330 Ratings

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