Home / Prof. Rebecca Rogers Ackermann


Prof. Ackermann is Director of the Human Evolution Research Institute (HERI), and Professor in the Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is Principal Investigator of the “New mammal models for hybridization in human evolution” project funded by the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences (South Africa) and co-PI of the “Morphological consequences of hybridization in primate and human evolution” project, funded by the National Science Foundation (USA). During her time at the DFG Center, Prof. Ackermann worked with Prof. Katerina Harvati on a joint paper reviewing the current evidence for hybridization among hominins and analyzing morphometric data in order to explore the effects of hybridization on the skeleton.

Selected Publications
Ackermann RR Reflections on the history and legacy of scientific racism in South African palaeoanthropology and beyond. In review: Journal of Human Evolution. Preprint AfricArxiv DOI: https://doi.org/10.31730/osf.io/t3v9a
Ackermann RR, ML Arnold, J Cahill, L Cortes-Ortiz, B Evans, BR Grant, PR Grant, B Hallgrimsson, R Humphreys*, CJ Jolly, J Malukiewicz, MD Nidiffer, CJ Percival, T Ritzman*, C Roos, CC Roseman, L Schroeder*, FH Smith, K Warren*, R Wayne, D Zinner. Hybridization in human evolution: insights from other organisms. In review: Evol Anth. Preprint AfricArxiv DOI: 10.31730/osf.io/y3bp7
Athreya S and RR Ackermann. Colonialism and narratives of human origins in Asia and Africa. In: Interrogating Human Origins: Decolonisation and the Deep Past. M Porr and J Matthews, Eds. Archaeological Orientation Series. Routledge: Abingdon. (Series editors: Christopher Witmore and Gavin Lucas). Preprint AfricaArxiv DOI: 10.31730/osf.io/jtkn2
Warren, K*, T Ritzman*, R Humphreys*, C Percival, B Hallgrimsson, RR Ackermann. Craniomandibular form and body size variation of first generation mouse hybrids: a model for hominin hybridization. J Hum Evol. 116: 57-74.
Schroeder L* and RR Ackermann. Evolutionary processes shaping diversity across the Homo lineage. J Hum Evol. 111: 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.06.004 (Preprint: BioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/136507)
Gunbin K, L Peshkin, K Popadin, S Annis, RR Ackermann, K Khrapko. Integration of mtDNA pseudogenes into the nuclear genome coincides with critical periods in human evolution. A hypothesis. Mitochondrion. 34: 20-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.mito.2016.12.001
2016Ackermann RR, A Mackay, ML Arnold. The hybrid origin of “modern” humans. Evol Biol. Vol 43, Issue 1, pp.1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s11692-015-9348-1
2015 Berger LR, J Hawks, DJ de Ruiter, SE Churchill, P Schmid, SA Williams, JM DeSilva, T Kivell, M Skinner, CM Musiba, N Cameron, TW Holliday, W Harcourt-Smith, RR Ackermann, Bastir M, Bogin B, Bolter D, Brophy J, Cofran ZD, Congdon KA, Deane AS, Dembo M, Drapeau M, Elliott M, Feuerriegel EM, Garcia-Martinez D, Green DJ, Gurtov A, Irish JD, Kruger A, Laird MF, Marchi D, Meyer MR, Nalla S, Negash EW, Orr CA, Radovcic D, Schroeder L*, Scott JE, Throckmorton Z, Tocheri MW, VanSickle C, Walker CS, Wei P, & Zipfel B. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. eLife. 4:e09560. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.09560
Schroeder L*, CC Roseman, JM Cheverud, RR Ackermann. Characterizing the evolutionary path(s) to early Homo. PLoS ONE. 9(12): e114307. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114307
Ackermann RR, L Schroeder*, J Rogers, JM Cheverud. Further evidence for phenotypic signatures of hybridization in descendant baboon populations. J Hum Evol. 74: 54-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.05.004.
2013de Ruiter DJ, TJ DeWitt, KB Carlson, JK Brophy, L Schroeder*, RR Ackermann, SE Churchill, LR Berger. Mandibular remains support taxonomic validity of Australopithecus sediba. Science 340. DOI: 10.1126/science.1232997.
2010Ackermann RR. Phenotypic traits of primate hybrids: recognizing admixture in the fossil record. Evolutionary Anthropology. 19: 258-270.

Contact Information

  • Position Title: External Member
  • Personal Title: Prof.
  • Location: Archaeology Dept, Beattie Building,
  • Telephone number: +27 (0)21 650 2356
  • E-mail address: becky.ackermann@uct.ac.za
  • Personal Website: rrackermann.com