WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 6, 2017—Anne Skinner, senior lecturer emerita in chemistry at Williams College, has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to spend four months doing research in Brazil in 2018.
Skinner’s project, “Shining Light on the Early Human Occupation of Northeast Brazil: A Multi-Institutional and Multidisciplinary Approach,” will combine excavations in the UNESCO Human Heritage region of Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara with lectures and demonstrations at four Brazilian institutions, using excavated material to improve inter-laboratory collaboration. Her research dates fossils by measuring the accumulation of radiation damage during burial. Her previous studies in Brazil have challenged the “Clovis First” paradigm of the settlement of the Americas.
“I feel fortunate to have international recognition of this type of work and my research,” Skinner said. “And I am grateful for the opportunity to investigate the early occupation of Brazil in depth.”
Over the last 30 years, Skinner has been involved with determining the age of prehistoric sites on every continent except Antarctica. Her lab at Williams is the only one in the United States doing this type of work. She has received multiple grants, most recently a Dreyfus Foundation Senior Mentor grant. She has been featured on a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) program about the Homo erectus in Africa. Skinner involves students in her research, including presenting materials at international conferences.
A physical chemist by training, Skinner’s work is multidisciplinary, combining chemistry, biology, geology, anthropology and archaeology.
Teaching at Williams since 1977, Skinner has a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Yale University.
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