Packard Faculty Fellowship for Nathaniel Dominy

Posted on October 16, 2007  Comments (0)

UC Santa Cruz anthropologist Nathaniel Dominy wins prestigious $625,000 Packard Fellowship

Dominy will receive $125,000 per year for the next five years to support his investigation of the diet and foraging behaviors of hominins, the early human ancestors who lived 2 million years ago. The Packard Foundation awards these fellowships to young scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise and creativity.

Dominy’s research interests center around the acquisition and consumption of food, which he believes fueled the development of bipedalism and big brains. Two of his recent studies made headlines around the world in recent months: The first added compelling new evidence to the hypothesis that hominins may have eaten starchy, nutrient-rich underground plant structures, including bulbs and tubers, while the second revealed that humans are uniquely equipped to digest starch. The revelation that humans have many more copies of the salivary amylase gene than any of their ape relatives bolsters the idea that starch was a crucial addition to the diet of early humans, and that natural selection favored individuals who could make more starch-digesting protein.

Related: Nathaniel J. DominyPackard Fellowship for Science and Engineering2007 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering Awarded to Twenty Young ResearchersCurious Cat Fellowship Directory

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