|John D. Hawks|
|Institutions||University of Wisconsin-Madison|
|Thesis||The Evolution of Human Population Size: A Synthesis of Paleontological, Archaeological, and Genetic Data.|
|Doctoral advisor||Milford Wolpoff|
Hawks graduated from Kansas State University in 1994 with degrees in French, English, and Anthropology. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan where he studied under Milford Wolpoff. His doctoral thesis was titled, "The Evolution of Human Population Size: A Synthesis of Paleontological, Archaeological, and Genetic Data." After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah, he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is currently a member of the Anthropology department, teaching courses including Human Evolution, Biological Anthropology, and Hominid Paleoecology. In 2014, Hawks launched an online course on Coursera under the University of Wisconsin-Madison banner, on "Human Evolution: Past and Future".
Hawks believes that human evolution has actually sped up in recent history in contrast to the common assumption that biological evolution has been made insignificant by cultural evolution. He covers recent developments on this topic at his blog.
Hawks believes that contemporary human mitochondrial genetics, including lack of any human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups from Eurasian archaic Homo sapiens may be in part due to natural selection of mtDNA on metabolic or other factors, rather than simple total replacement and genetic drift.
The blog deals primarily with Paleoanthropology. The blog provides analysis of current research in Paleoanthropology, discussing the significance and implications of fossils related to human evolution, genetics and genomics of hominid populations (alive and extinct), archaeological topics, as well as general commentary and review of both scientific and popular literature.
Hawks has also written extensively about the experience of blogging about one's field while working in academia. He is one of few academics to publish both a widely read daily blog and remain an active researcher and professor at a major research university, though he notes that this trend seems to be changing.
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