John D. Hawks

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John Hawks is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He also is the author of a widely read paleoanthropology blog.

Biography[edit]

Hawks graduated from Kansas State University in 1994 with degrees in French, English, and Anthropology. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan where he studied under Milford Wolpoff. His doctoral thesis was titled, "The Evolution of Human Population Size: A Synthesis of Paleontological, Archaeological, and Genetic Data." After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah, he moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is currently a member of the Anthropology department,[1] teaching courses including Human Evolution, Biological Anthropology, and Hominid Paleoecology. In 2014, Hawks launched an online course on Coursera under the University of Wisconsin–Madison banner, on "Human Evolution: Past and Future".[2]

Areas of interest[edit]

Hawks believes that human evolution has actually sped up in recent history[3] in contrast to the common assumption that biological evolution has been made insignificant by cultural evolution. He covers recent developments on this topic at his blog.[4]

Hawks has predicted introgression including the Neanderthal admixture hypothesis[5] which was eventually proven by the Neanderthal genome project in May 2010.

Hawks believes that contemporary human mitochondrial genetics, including lack of any human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups from Eurasian archaic Homo sapiens may be in part due to natural selection of mtDNA on metabolic or other factors, rather than simple total replacement and genetic drift.

Hawks has also discussed the cladistic classification of the Hominidae[6] and has criticized the proliferation of terms like hominin.[7]

The John Hawks Blog[edit]

The John Hawks Weblog is a widely read and referenced science blog as measured by Technorati's ranking.[8][9]

The blog deals primarily with Paleoanthropology. The blog provides analysis of current research in Paleoanthropology, discussing the significance and implications of fossils related to human evolution, genetics and genomics of hominid populations (alive and extinct), archaeological topics, as well as general commentary and review of both scientific and popular literature.

Hawks has also written extensively about the experience of blogging about one's field while working in academia.[10] He is one of few academics to publish both a widely read daily blog and remain an active researcher and professor at a major research university, though he notes that this trend seems to be changing.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McAuliffe, Kathleen (September 2010). "If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?". Discover. 
  2. ^ "Hawks launches 'Human Evolution: Past and Future' pilot MOOC". University of Wisconsin–Madison News Release. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  3. ^ Hawks, J; Wang, ET; Cochran, GM; Harpending, HC; Moyzis, RK (2007). "Recent acceleration of human adaptive evolution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (52): 20753–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.0707650104. PMC 2410101. PMID 18087044. 
  4. ^ "Recent selection, the new paradigm". john hawks weblog. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  5. ^ "introgression". john hawks weblog. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  6. ^ Hawks, John (2004). "How much can cladistics tell us about early hominid relationships?". American Journal of Physical Anthropology 125 (3): 207–19. doi:10.1002/ajpa.10280. PMID 15386256. 
  7. ^ http://johnhawks.net/weblog/topics/meta/blogging/favorite-hominin-2009-google-trends.html
  8. ^ Technorati. "What is "Technorati authority"". 
  9. ^ "John Hawks weblog". Technorati. 
  10. ^ a b John Hawks (July 28, 2008). "How to blog, get tenure, and prosper". 

External links[edit]