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Dr. Marta Mirazón Lahr (born 1965) is a palaeoanthropologist and Director of the Duckworth Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Marta Mirazón Lahr
Lahr, old Germa, Fezzan, Libya, 2011.jpg
Born1965 (age 53–54)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
OccupationEvolutionary Biologist
NationalityBritish & Argentinian
Alma materUniversity of São Paulo
University of Cambridge


Academic careerEdit

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mirazon Lahr graduated in Biology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She later earned a Masters and PhD in Biological Anthropology from the University of Cambridge,[1] following which she was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at Clare College. She was then an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology of University of São Paulo (1995–98), before returning to Cambridge in 1999 as a lecturer in Biological Anthropology and Fellow of Clare College.[2][3] Mirazon Lahr was promoted to University Reader in Human Evolutionary Biology in 2005.[4]

In 2001 Mirazon Lahr, with co-founder Robert Foley, established the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies (LCHES) at the University of Cambridge, with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Leverhulme Trust. The Centre was designed to provide a home for the Duckworth Collection, and up-to-date laboratories and facilities to support research in human evolution which integrated genetics, anthropology, and other fields.[5]

Mirazon Lahr was awarded the Phillip Leverhulme Prize in 2004.[6]


Lahr's research is in human evolution, and ranges across human and hominin morphology, prehistory and genetics. Her early work provided a test of the Multiregional Hypothesis of modern humans origins, and underlined much of the argument against models of regional continuity in traits between archaic and modern humans.[7] This research expanded into a fuller consideration of the origins of modern human diversity, published as a book in 1996 - The Evolution of Human Diversity - by Cambridge University Press.[8] Her subsequent research continues to explore human diversity from a number of different perspectives and methodological approaches, and includes archaeology, palaeobiology, genomics and human biology.[9][10][11]

She and Robert Foley were the first to propose a ‘southern route’ for humans out of Africa, and for human diversity to be the product of multiple dispersals as well as local adaptation.[10][11][12][13] She has led field projects in the Amazon, the Solomon Islands,[14][15] India, the Central Sahara[16] and Kenya,[17] the last two focusing on issues to do with the origins and dispersals of modern humans in Africa.

Mirazon Lahr is currently the director of the IN-AFRICA Project, an Advanced Investigator Award from the European Research Council (ERC) to examine the role of east Africa in modern human origins.[18] As part of the IN-AFRICA Project, she has led the excavations at the site of Nataruk in Turkana, Kenya, establishing the existence of prehistoric warfare among nomadic hunter-gatherers 10,000 years ago.[19]

She was recently interviewed alongside Richard and Meave Leakey as part of the documentary 'Bones of Turkana', a National Geographic Special about palaeoanthropology and human evolution in the Turkana Basin, Kenya.[20][21]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Lahr, M.M. (1992), The origins of modern humans: A test of the Multiregional Hypothesis, Cambridge University Press, UK
  • Lahr, M. M. & Foley, R. A. (2003), "On stony ground: Lithic technology, human evolution, and the emergence of culture", Evolutionary Anthropology, 12 (3): 109–122, doi:10.1002/evan.10108
  • Bateson, P., Barker, D., Clutton-Brock, T., Deb, D., D’Udine, B., Foley, R. A., Gluckman, P., Godfrey, K., Kirkwood, T., Lahr, M.M., McNamara, J., Metcalfe, N. B., Monaghan, P., Spencer, G., & Sultan, S. E. (2004), "Developmental plasticity and human health", Nature, 430: 419–421, doi:10.1038/nature02725CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Field, J. S. & Lahr, M. M. (2006), "Assessment of the Southern Dispersal: GIS-Based Analyses of Potential Routes at Oxygen Isotopic Stage 4", Journal of World Prehistory, 19 (1): 1–45, doi:10.1007/s10963-005-9000-6
  • Migliano, A.B.; Vinicius, L. (December 2007). "Mirazón Lahr, M. (2007) Life-history trade-offs explain the evolution of human pygmies". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (51): 20216–20219. doi:10.1073/pnas.0708024105. PMC 2154411. PMID 18077366.
  • Petraglia, M.; Korisettar, R.; Boivin, N.; Clarkson, C.; Ditchfield, P.; Jones, S.; Koshy, J. (July 2007). "Lahr, M.M.; Oppenheimer, C.; Pyle, D.; Roberts, R.; Schwenninger, J.-L.; Arnold, L. & White, K. (2007) Middle Paleolithic assemblages from the Indian subcontinent before and after the Toba super-eruption". Science. 317 (5834): 114–116. doi:10.1126/science.1141564. PMID 17615356.
  • Mirazón Lahr, M.; Foley, R.; Armitage, S.; Barton, H.; Crivellaro, F.; Drake, N.; Hounslow, M.; Maher, L.; Mattingly, D.; Salem, M.; Stock, J. & White, K. (2008) DMP III: Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironments and prehistoric occupation of Fazzan, Libyan Sahara. Libyan Studies 39: 263-294.
  • Petraglia, M.; Clarkson, C.; Boivin, N.; Haslam, M.; Korisettar, R.; Chaubey, G.; Ditchfield, P.; Fuller, D.; James, H.; Jones, S.; Kivisild, T.; Koshy, J. "Mirazon Lahr, M.; Metspalu, M.; Roberts, R. & Arnold, L. (2009) Population increase and environmental deterioration correspond with microlithic innovations in South Asia ca. 35,000 years ago" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106: 12261–12266. doi:10.1073/pnas.0810842106. PMC 2718386. PMID 19620737.
  • Mirazon Lahr, M. (2010), "Saharan Corridors and their role in the Evolutionary Geography of 'Out of Africa I'", in Fleagle, J.G. et al. (eds.), Out of Africa I, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology, pp. 27–46CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Rasmussen, M.; Guo, X.; Wang, Y.; Lohmueller, K.E.; Rasmussen, S.; Albrechtsen, A.; Skotte, L.; Lindgreen, S.; Metspalu, M.; Jombart, T.; Kivisild, T.; Zhai, W.; Eriksson, A.; Manica, A.; Orlando, L.; De La Vega, F.; Tridico, S.; Metspalu, E.; Nielsen, K.; Ávila-Arcos, M.C.; Moreno-Mayar, J.V.; Muller, C.; Dortch, J.; Gilbert, M.T.P.; Lund, O.; Wesolowska, A.; Karmin, M.; Weinert, L.A.; Wang, B.; Li, J.; Tai, S.; Xiao, F.; Haninara, T.; van Driem, G.; Jha, A.R.; Ricaut, F.-X.; de Knijff, P.; Migliano, A.B.; Gallego-Romero, I.; Kristiansen, K.; Lambert, D.M.; Brunak, S.; Forster, P.; Brinkmann, B.; Nehlich, O.; Bunce, M.; Richards, M.; Gupta, R.; Bustamante, C.; Krogh, A.; Foley, R.A. "Lahr, M.M.; Balloux, F.; Sicheritz-Pontén, T.; Villems, R.; Nielsen, R.; Jun, W. & Willerslev, E. (2011) Aboriginal Australian Genome Obtained from Hundred-Year-Old Lock of Hair Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia". Science. 334 (6052): 94–98. doi:10.1126/science.1211177. PMC 3991479. PMID 21940856.
  • Foley, R.A. "Mirazón Lahr, M. (2011) The evolution of the diversity of cultures". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. 366: 1080–1089. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0370. PMC 3049104.
  • Mirazon Lahr, M. (2013) Genetic and fossil evidence for modern human origins. In: P. Mitchell & P. Lane (Eds.). Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology, pp 325–340. Oxford: OUP.
  • Foley, R. "Mirazon Lahr, M. (2014) The role of 'the aquatic' in human evolution: constraining the aquatic ape hypothesis". Evolutionary Anthropology. 23: 56–59. doi:10.1002/evan.21405.
  • Raghavan, M; DeGiorgio, M; Albrechtsen, A; Moltke, I; Skoglund, P; Korneliussen, TS; Gronnow, B; Appelt, M; Gullov, HC; Friesen, M; Fitzhugh, W; Malmstrom, H; Rasmussen, S; Olsen, J; Melchior, L; Fuller, BT; Fahrni, SM; Stafford Jr, T; Grimes, V; Renouf, MA; Cybulski, J; Lynnerup, N (Aug 2014). "The Genetic Prehistory of the New World Arctic". Science. 345: 6200. doi:10.1126/science.1255832. PMID 25170159.
  • Seguin-Orlando, A; Korneliussen, TS; Sikora, M; Malaspinas, A-S; Manica, A; Moltke, I; Albrechtsen, A; Ko, A; Margaryan, A; Moiseyev, V; Goebel, T; Westaway, M; Lambert, D; Khartanovich, V; Wall, JD; Nigst, PR; Foley, RA. "Mirazon Lahr M, Nielsen R, Orlando L & Willerslev E (2014) Genomic structure in Europeans dating back at least 36,200 years". Science. 346: 1113–1118. doi:10.1126/science.aaa0114. PMID 25378462.
  • Foley, RA. "Mirazon Lahr M (2015) Lithic landscapes: Early human impact from stone tool production on the Central Saharan environment". PLoS ONE. 10 (3): e0116482. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116482.
  • Rasmussen, S; Allentoft, ME; Nielsen, K; Orlando, L; Sikora, M; Sjögren, K-G; Pedersen, AG; Van Dam, A; Kapel, CMO; Nielsen, HB; Brunak, S; Avetisyan, P; Epimakhov, A; Gnuni, A; Kriiska, A; Lasak, I; Metspalu, M; Moiseyev, V; Gromov, A; Pokutta, D; Saag, L; Varul, L; Yepiskoposyan, L; Sicheritz-Pontén, T; Foley, RA. "'Mirazón Lahr, M, Nielsen R, Kristiansen K & Willerslev E (2015) Early divergent strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia five thousand years ago". Cell. 163 (3): 571–582. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.10.009. PMC 4644222. PMID 26496604.
  • Mirazon Lahr, M.; et al. (2016). "Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya". Nature. 529: 394–398. doi:10.1038/nature16477. PMID 26791728.


  1. ^ "The origins of modern humans: a test of the multiregional hypothesis". Cambridge University Library. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
  2. ^ "Fellows of Clare College, Cambridge". Clare College. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  3. ^ "Cambridge Reporter List of Elected Fellows at Clare College, Cambridge". Cambridge Reporter Online. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  4. ^ "Cambridge Reporter List of University Promotions 2005". Cambridge Reporter Online. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  5. ^ "Features of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  6. ^ "Phillip Leverhulme Prize Winners 2004". The Leverhulme Trust. Archived from the original on 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  7. ^ Lahr, M. M. (1994). "The Multiregional Model of Modern Human Origins: A Reassessment of its Morphological Basis". Journal of Human Evolution. 26: 23–56. doi:10.1006/jhev.1994.1003.
  8. ^ Lahr, M. M. (1996) The evolution of modern human diversity, Cambridge: CUP.
  9. ^ Lahr, M. M. & Foley, R. (1994). "Multiple Dispersals and Modern Human Origins". Evolutionary Anthropology. 3 (2): 48–60. doi:10.1002/evan.1360030206.
  10. ^ a b Lahr, M. M. & Foley, R. (1998). "Towards a theory of modern human origins: Geography, demography, and diversity in recent human evolution". Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. 41: 137–176.
  11. ^ a b Foley, R. & Lahr, M. M. (1992). "Beyond 'Out of Africa': Reassessing the origins of Homo sapiens". Journal of Human Evolution. 22: 523–529. doi:10.1016/0047-2484(92)90085-n.
  12. ^ Lahr, M. M. & Foley, R. (1994). "Multiple Dispersals and Modern Human Origins". Evolutionary Anthropology. 3 (2): 48–60. doi:10.1002/evan.1360030206.
  13. ^ Foley, R. & Lahr, M. M. (1997). "Mode 3 technologies and the evolution of modern humans". Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 7 (1): 3–36. doi:10.1017/S0959774300001451.
  14. ^ Ricaut, F-X., Thomas, T., Mormina, M., Cox, M. P., Belatti, M., Foley, R. A., Mirazón-Lahr, M. (2010). "Ancient Solomon Islands mtDNA: assessing Holocene settlement and the impact of European contact". Journal of Archaeological Science. 37 (6): 1161–1170. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.014.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Cox, M. P. & Mirazón-Lahr, M. (2006). "Y-chromosome diversity is inversely associated with language affiliation in paired Austronesian- and Papuan-speaking communities from Solomon Islands". American Journal of Human Biology. 18 (1): 35–50. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20459. PMID 16378340.
  16. ^ Mirazón-Lahr, M., Foley, R., Armitage, S., Barton, H., Crivellaro, F., Drake, N., Hounslow, M., Maher, L., Mattingly, D., Salem, M., Stock, J., White, K. (2008). "DMP III: Pleistocene and Holocene palaeonvironments and prehistoric occupation of Fazzan, Libyan Sahara" (PDF). Libyan Studies. 39: 1–32.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "In Africa (ERC Research Project)". Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  18. ^ "In Africa Project 2012-2017". Retrieved 2013-01-30. External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ Lahr, M. Mirazón; Rivera, F.; Power, R. K.; Mounier, A.; Copsey, B.; Crivellaro, F.; Edung, J. E.; Fernandez, J. M. Maillo; Kiarie, C. (2016). "Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya". Nature. 529 (7586): 394–398. doi:10.1038/nature16477. PMID 26791728.
  20. ^ "Bones of Turkana Review of Educative Value". Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  21. ^ "Bones of Turkana National Geographic Special". Retrieved 2013-01-22.

External linksEdit