I am a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas and serve as co-director of the MSA Project (along with Dr. Lawrence Todd). I am broadly trained in biological anthropology and geology and have conducted research in primate and human evolution, paleoecology, geology, paleomagnetism, and computer imaging, with field projects all across Africa and Asia for the past 35 years. I have worked in Ethiopia since 1992.
My research interests for this project include the overall behavior of Middle Stone Age humans and reconstructions of the ancient habitats and climates. I am interested in directing undergraduate research projects in the taxonomy of the fossil animals (including the fish) that the MSA people collected, estimates of the body size and diversity of this fauna, the stratigraphy and sedimentology of the archaeological sites and the landscape, how we can use paleomagnetism to understand the controlled use of fire, and controlled experiments with the stone tool artefacts. Some student projects will be field-based while others will combine field-generated data with follow-up study in the National Museum in Addis Ababa or work in the computer lab or paleomagnetism lab at UT Austin.
2014. Kappelman, J., D. Tewabe, L. Todd, M. Feseha, M. Kay, G. Kocurek, B. Nachman, N. Tabor, and M. Yadeta. Another Unique River: a consideration of some of the characteristics of the trunk tributaries of the Nile River in northwestern Ethiopia in relationship to their aquatic food resources. Journal of Human Evolution 77:117-131
2008. Kappelman, John, Mehmet Cihat Alçiçek, Nizamettin Kazancı, Michael Schultz, Mehmet Özkul, and Şevket Şen. First Homo erectus from Turkey and implications for migrations into temperate Eurasia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 135:110-116. Published online 7 December 2007. DOI 10.1002/ajpa.20739
2006. Huffman, O. F., Y. Zaim, J. Kappelman, D. R. Ruez, Jr., Y. Rizal, F. Aziz, C. Hertler, J. de Vos. Relocation of the 1936 Mojokerto skull discovery site near Perning, East Java. Journal of Human Evolution 50 431-451.
2002. Todd, L.C., M. Glantz, and J. Kappleman. Chilga Kernet: An Acheulean Landscape on Ethiopia’s Western Plateau. Antiquity 76: 611-612.