Function: Director Paleoanthropology
Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology, Paläoanthropologie
Office: Room 517, Hauptgebäude, 2. OG
Prof. Harvati is a paleoanthropologist specializing in Neanderthal paleobiology, modern human origins and the application of 3-D geometric morphometric and virtual anthropology methods to paleoanthropology.
Her broader research interests include primate and human evolution; evolutionary theory; the relationship between the phenotype, genetics, behavior and the environment; and the paleoanthropology of South-East Europe. She has conducted fieldwork in Europe and Africa, most recently in Greece. Her work has been published in Nature, Science, Current Biology, PNAS, Evolutionary Anthropology, Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology and other peer-reviewed international journals. She is the editor of two volumes in the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology series of Springer Verlag: on Neanderthal paleobiology and on the Paleoanthropology of the Balkans.
Prof. Harvati has received numerous distinctions, including the Leibniz award and the Research Award of the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2014. Her work on the Apidima human fossils from Greece was listed among the most important scientific discoveries of the year 2019 (The Guardian; Discover Magazine; Livescience) and the decade (Gizmodo). She is the recipient of three ERC grants (ERC Starting Grant ‘Paleoanthropology at the Gates of Europe’, 2011; ERC Consolidator Grant ‘Human Evolution at the Crossroads’, 2016; and ERC Advanced Grant 'Our first steps to Europe: Pleistocene Homo sapiens dispersals, adaptations and interactions in South-East Europe', planned for 2022. She directs the DFG Centre for Advanced Studies ‘Words, Bones, Genes, Tools: Tracking linguistic, cultural and biological trajectories of the human past’ together with Prof. Gerhard Jäger (Linguistics).
Since 2020 Prof. Harvati is also Professor II at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), University of Bergen, Norway.