Integrated Search Menu

Donald Johanson

Founding Director and Virginia M Ullman Chair in Human Origins
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4101
IHO Founding Director and Virginia M Ullman Chair in Human Origins
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4101
Virginia M Ullman Chair of Human Origins and Founding Director, Institute of Human Origins
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4101
Biography

Professor and Virginia M Ullman Chair in Human Origins, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Founding Director, Institute of Human Origins

SHESC Themes: Biological, Social and Cultural Dimensions of Human Health; Culture, Heritage and Identity; Global Dynamics and Regional Interactions; Human Origins, Evolution and Diversity

Field Specializations: Paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology

Education

Ph.D., University of Chicago

Bio

Research:
Donald C. Johanson is the Founding Director of the Institute of Human Origins. For the past 30 years, he has conducted field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology. Most notably, he discovered the 3.18 million year old hominid skeleton popularly known as "Lucy." Through grants from the National Science Foundation, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, and the National Geographic Society, Johanson has carried out field research in Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Tanzania. He is an Honorary Board Member of the Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of many other professional organizations and recipient of several international prizes and awards. In 1975, Dr. Johanson was appointed curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and, beginning in 1976, developed a laboratory of physical anthropology that attracted scholars from all over the world.

He has written, among other books, the widely read "Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind" (with Maitland Edey), 1991, and numerous scientific and popular articles. In 1994, he co-wrote "Ancestors: In Search of Human Origins" and narrated a companion NOVA television series seen by more than 100 million people worldwide. Most recently, he published "From Lucy to Language" (with Blake Edgar, principal photography by David Brill), 1996. Johanson is a frequent lecturer at university and other forums in the United States and abroad.

Publications

Kimbel, W. H., Lockwood, C. A., Ward, C. V., Leakey, M. G., Rak, Y. & Johanson, D. C. (2006). Was Australopithecus anamensis ancestral to Australopithecus afarensis? A case of anagensis in the hominin fossil record. Journal of Human Evolution, 50(2), 134-152.

Drapeau, M. S. M., Ward, C. V., Kimbel, W. H., Johanson, D. C. & Rak, Y. (2005). Associated cranial and forelimb remains attributed to Australopithecus afarensis from Hadar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution, 48(6), 593-642.

Johanson, D. C. (2004). Thirty years later: An expanded view of Australopithecus afarensis. Journal of Anthropological Research, 60(4).

Kimbel, W. H., Rak, Y. & Johanson, D. C. (2004). The skull of Australopithecus afarensis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Publications
  • Johanson, Donald C. ANTHROPOLOGY 2011. World Book encyclopedia Year Book 2012 (2012).
  • don johanson. re-edited and revised ASM 246 online Human Origins course and added much new video. (2012).
  • Johanson, Donald C. ANTHROPOLOGY 2009. World Book encyclopedia Year Book 2008 (2010).
  • Johanson, D.C. and Kate Wong. Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins. (2010).
  • Johanson, Donald C. ANTHROPOLOGY 2009. World Book encyclopedia Year Book 2008 (2009).
  • Johanson, D.C. and Kate Wong. Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins. (2009).
  • Donald C. Johanson. Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis). Evolutiion: The First Four Million Years (2009).
  • Johanson, Donald C. ANTHROPOLOGY 2008. World Book encyclopedia Year Book 2008 p. 46 (2008).
  • Johanson, Donald C. ANTHROPOLOGY 2006. World Book encyclopedia Year Book 2007 (2007).
  • W Kimbel, C Lockwood, C Ward, M Leakey, Y Rak, Donald Johanson. Was Australopithecus anamensis ancestral to A. afarensis? A case of anagensis in the hominin fossil record. J. Hum. Evol (2006).
  • Johanson, Donald C, Edgar, B. From Lucy to Language. (2006).
  • Johanson, Donald C, EDGAR, BLAKE. FROM LUCY TO LANGUAGE. (2006).
  • Johanson, Donald C. Anthropology 2005. World Book encyclopedia--Year Book 2006 (2005).
  • Johanson, Donald C. Anthropology 2004. World Book Encyclopedia--Year Book 2005 (2004).
  • Donald Johanson. Lucy, Thirty Years Later: An expanded view of Australopithecus afarensis. J. Anthropol. Res (2004).
  • Donald Johanson. Lucy, Thirty Years Later: An expanded view of Australopithecus afarensis. Journal of Anthropological Research (2004).
  • C Ward, C Lockwood, W Kimbel, M Leakey, Donald Johanson, Y Rak. Australopithecus anamensis ancestral to A. afarensis. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop (2003).
  • Donald Johanson. A West Coast that was still the forest primeval. Los Angeles Times Book Review (2003).
  • Donald Johanson. Anthropology. World Book Encyclopedia (2003).
  • . . Review of: Lowly Origin (2003).
  • . . Review of: WE WALK, THEREFORE WE ARE (2003).
  • W Kimbel, Y Rak, Donald Johanson. A new hominin skull from Hadar: Implications for cranial sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis. Am. J. Phys. Anthrop (2002).
  • . . Review of: Extinct Humans (2002).
  • E Hovers, K Schollmeyer, T Goldman, G Eck, K Reed, Donald Johanson, W Kimbel. Late Pliocene archaeological sites in Hadar, Ethiopia. J. Human E (2001).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASM 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASM 484Internship
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASM 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Presentations
  • Johanson, Donald. Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution. Accademia dei Fisiocritici (Jun 2006).
  • Johanson, Donald. New Insights in the Paleoanthropology of Hadar: 1990-present. 30 Years After Lucy (Jun 2006).
  • Johanson, Donald. Australopithecus afarensis. State of our Current Knowledge (Nov 2005).
  • Johanson, Donald. Our African Ancestors. Presentation at Iberoamerican University (Nov 2005).
  • Johanson, Donald. Human Evolution. An African Perspective. Keynote lecture at International symposium on Ceprano in Rome (Mar 2005).
  • Vahdatinasab, H, Johanson, Donald, Clark, G, Kimbel, W, Karnick, P. Three-dimensional study of midfacial prognathism in Neanderthals. 3D imaging in Anthropological Research conference in London, Ontario, Canada (Oct 2004).
  • Johanson, Donald. Out of Africa. 2nd International Symposium of Peopling of America, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (Sep 2004).
  • Johanson, Donald. The pitfalls, rewards and pressures of popularizing science. National AAAS symposium (San Francisco). In Symposium: Who Should Write the Story of Science? , organized by J. Hathaway and J. Maienschein (Feb 2001).
  • Johanson, Donald. What do we really know about human evolution. National AAAS symposium (San Francisco). In Symposium: The Historical Sciences, Religon and Science Education, organized by Joel Primack and Jim Miller (Feb 2001).
Service
  • Ph.D. committee, Member of Ph.D. committee for Caitlin Schrein (2008 - Present)
  • Ph.D. committee, Member of Ph.D. committee for Caitlin Schrein (2008 - Present)
  • Centro Studi Richerche Ligabue, Venice, Italy, Member of the Scientific Board (2014 - 2014)
  • Ph.D. committee for Caitlin Schrein, co-committee head (2012 - 2014)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Founding Director (2012 - 2012)
  • National Geographic Society, Advisor for development of new article on human evolution (2012 - 2012)
  • Ph.D. committee, Member of Ph.D. committee for Caitlin Schrein (2012 - 2012)
  • Phoenix based celebration of IHO's 30th Anniversary celebration at the Phoenix Zoo. Associated with successful development of well-visited Museum of Anthropology exhibit on IHO., Founding Director and Keynot speaker (2012 - 2012)
  • SHESC, Professor (2012 - 2012)
  • Explorers Club, NYC, Honorary Board Member (2010 - 2010)
  • Foundation for the Future, Seattle, Director (2010 - 2010)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Member of the Board (2010 - 2010)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Founding Director (2010 - 2010)
  • Ph.D. committee, Member of Ph.D. committee for Caitlin Schrein (2010 - 2010)
  • SHESC, Professor (2010 - 2010)
  • Centro Studi Richerche Ligabue, Venice, Italy, Member of the Scientific Board (2009 - 2010)
  • Centro Studi Richerche Ligabue, Venice, Italy, Member of the Scientific Board (2009 - 2009)
  • Explorers Club, NYC, Honorary Board Member (2009 - 2009)
  • Foundation for the Future, Seattle, Director (2009 - 2009)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Member of the Board (2009 - 2009)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Founding Director (2009 - 2009)
  • SHESC, Professor (2009 - 2009)
  • virginia M.Ullman Foundation, Member of the Board (2009 - 2009)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Founding Director (2008 - 2008)
  • Centro Studi Richerche Ligabue, Venice, Italy, Member of the Scientific Board (2008 - 2008)
  • Foundation for the Future, Seattle, director (2008 - 2008)
  • SHESC/ANTHROPOLOGY, Professor (2008 - 2008)
  • explorers Club, NYC, honorary Board Member (2008 - 2008)
  • virginia M.Ullman Foundation, Member of the Board (2008 - 2008)
  • Centro Studi Richerche Ligabue, Venice, Italy, Member of the Scientific Board (2006 - 2006)
  • HO/ASU/CLAS, board Member, Director (2006 - 2006)
  • explorers Club, NYC, honorary Board Member (2006 - 2006)
  • virginia M.Ullman Foundation, member of the Board (2006 - 2006)
  • SHESC/ANTHROPOLOGY, Professor (2005 - 2005)
  • iHO/ASU/CLAS, board Member, Director (2005 - 2005)
  • Institute of Human Origins, Director (2003 - 2005)
  • IHO/ASU/CLAS, Presenter (2003 - 2004)
  • American Academy of Achievement, Awards Council (2004)
  • Archaeo Magazine, Italy, Editorial board (2004)
  • Department of Anthropology, Professor (2004)
  • Foundation for the Future, Seattle, Director (2004)
  • Institute of Human Origins/CA, Board Member (2004)
  • National Geographic Society, Advisor for development of new article on human evolution (2004)
  • Fullbright Review, Member of Awards Council (2003)
  • GELS, Keynote Address on Unraveling Human Origins: A Multidisciplinary Exploration (2003)
  • IHO/ASU, Organizer and presenter (2003)
  • Journeys of the Mind lectures on The Origins of Humanity, Coordinator and Introducer (2003)
  • NASA Astrobiology Insitute Meeting, Plenary Speaker (2003)