Joel D. Irish


Office:  James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF

Joel D. Irish working in Egypt

Expertise: Palaeoanthropology, Dental Anthropology, Human Evolution

Research Interests

Some highlights of my most recent research include study of: 1) information on the phylogenetic position of Australopithecus sediba published in Science, the Journal of Human Evolution, and American Journal of Physical Anthropology, among others, 2) dental analyses of recently discovered Homo naledi remains from the Rising Star Cave system in South Africa (as a research affiliate of the University of the Witwatersrand), published in 2015 in eLife, 2018 in Journal of Human Evolution, and others forthcoming, 3) >4,000 late Pleistocene through recent sub-Saharan African dentitions to better understand the “’Bantu’ Expansion(s),” 4) infant remains dated to ~11,500 cal yr BP from Eastern Beringia (i.e., central Alaska); results published in Science, Nature, and PNAS, and 5) ongoing projects in Egypt at various sites, including Nabta Playa/Gebel Ramlah, as well as other geographic regions, e.g., Portugal and Sudan.

Research Projects & Professional Activities

Bioarchaeological investigations at Gebel Ramlah

Understanding the ‘place’ of Neolithic peoples in Egyptian prehistory through the excavation of a rare Neolithic site in Upper Egypt which includes over 200 burials and multiple villages. This project, which is part of the Combined Prehistoric Expedition, has significantly expanded our understanding of the period

Plio-Pleistocene Hominins: A. sediba and H. naledi

Two important fossil relatives were recently discovered in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. In collaboration with lead palaeoanthropologist, Dr. Lee Berger, University of the Witwatersrand, this study focuses on their origins and evolutionary relationships with other hominins through the study of teeth.





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