is currently Curator in the Department of Anthropology of the American
Museum of Natural History in New York City. Born in England and raised
in East Africa, he has carried out fieldwork in countries as diverse as
Madagascar, Vietnam, Surinam, Yemen, and Mauritius.
Trained in archaeology
and anthropology at Cambridge, and in geology and vertebrate paleontology
at Yale, Tattersall has concentrated his research over the past quarter-century
in two main areas, in both of which he is an acknowledged leader: the
analysis of the human fossil record, and the study of the ecology and
systematics of the lemurs of Madagascar.
Tattersall is also a prominent
interpreter of human paleontology to the public, with several recent trade
books to his credit, among them Extinct Humans (with Jeffrey Schwartz;
Westview Press, 2000), Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness
(Harcourt Brace, 1998), and The Last Neanderthal: The Rise, Success
and Mysterious Extinction of Our Closest Human Relatives (Westview
Press, Revised Edition, 1999), as well as several articles in Scientific
American and the co-editorship of the definitive Encyclopedia of
Human Evolution and Prehistory.
He lectures widely, and, as curator,
has also been responsible for several major exhibits at the American Museum
of Natural History, including Ancestors: Four Million Years of Humanity
(1984); Dark Caves, Bright Visions: Life in Ice Age Europe (1986);
Madagascar: Island of the Ancestors (1989); and the highly acclaimed
Hall of Human Biology and Evolution (1993).