Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Jessica Thompson specializes in human evolution, with current projects in Malawi and Ethiopia. She leads the Malawi Ancient Lifeways and Peoples Project, her second human origins project. This multidisciplinary work combines archaeological science, evolutionary theory, and hunter-gatherer ethnography to develop and interpret the first deep time cultural and paleoenvironmental chronologies in Malawi. Her active field sites, which span the transition from the last Ice Age, yielded human remains that preserve the oldest ancient human DNA in sub-Saharan Africa. She has published articles in venues such as the Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of Quaternary Science, and Evolutionary Anthropology. Thompson received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2008.