René Bobe

René Bobe

Associate Professor of Anthropology
SEH 6830
Phone: 202-994-4223

Areas of Expertise

Paleoecology, paleoclimate, mammal and primate evolution, African prehistory, hominid paleoecology, African biogeography, Pliocene and Pleistocene archaeology, taphonomy. Regional foci: Kenya, Patagonia.


Lab Office: SEH 6th floor | 202-994-7475

Current Research

On leave, spring 2015.

Dr. Bobe is a biological anthropologist interested in the relationship between climatic change and evolutionary processes. He studies the environmental and ecological context of human evolution in Africa.

Ongoing Projects:

  • Paleoclimate and human evolution
  • Paleoecology of the Pliocene Hadar region, Dikika Research Project, Ethiopia
  • Paleoecology of the lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia
  • Fossil mammals, paleoecology, and paleoclimate of the Turkana Basin, Kenya
  • Environmental context of the earliest South American primates, western Patagonia, Chile


To see Dr. Bobe's CV, click here.

Ph.D. 1997, University of Washington-Seattle
B.A. 1983, Pomona College



2007  Bobe, R., Z. Alemseged, and A.K. Behrensmeyer, eds. Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Dordrecht: Springer.

Selected Articles and Books Chapters

2012  Geraads, D., R. Bobe, and K. Reed. "Pliocene Bovidae (Mammalia) from the Hadar Formation of Hadar and Ledi-Geraru, Lower Awash, Ethiopia," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32:180-197.

2011  Bobe, R. "Fossil mammals and paleoenvironments in the Omo-Turkana Basin," Evolutionary Anthropology, 20(6), 254-263,

2011  Geraads, D., Z. Alemseged, R. Bobe, and D. Reed. "Enhydriodon dikikae sp. nov. (Carnivora: Mammalia), a gigantic otter from the Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(2): 447-453.

2010  McPherron, S., Z. Alemseged, C. Marean, J.G. Wynn, D. Reed, D. Geraads, R. Bobe, and H. Béarat. "Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia," Nature 466: 857-860.

2009  Bobe, R., M.G. Leakey. "Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo." In Grine, F.E., J.G. Fleagle, and R.E. Leakey, eds., The First Humans: Origins of the Genus Homo, p. 173-184. Dordrecht: Springer.

2009  Alemseged, Z., R. Bobe. "Diet in early hominin species: a paleoenvironmental perspective." In Hublin, J.J., and M.P. Richards, eds., The Evolution of Hominid Diets: Integrating Approaches to the Study of Paleolithic Subsistence, p. 181-188. Dordrecht: Springer.

2007  Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Eck, G.G., Harris, J.M. "Patterns of abundance and diversity in late Cenozoic bovids from the Turkana and Hadar Basins, Kenya and Ethiopia." In: Bobe, R., Z. Alemseged, and A.K. Behrensmeyer, eds., Hominin Environments in the East African Pliocene: An Assessment of the Faunal Evidence. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 129-157.

2006  Alemseged, Z., Spoor, F., Kimbel, W.H., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D., Wynn, J.G. "A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia," Nature 443, 296-301.

2006  Bobe, R. "The evolution of arid ecosystems in eastern Africa," Journal of Arid Environments 66(3), 564-584.

2006  Wynn, J., Alemseged, Z., Bobe, R., Geraads, D., Reed, D., Roman, D. Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443, 332-336.

2004  Bobe, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K. "The expansion of grassland ecosystems in Africa in relation to mammalian evolution and the origin of the genus Homo," Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 207, 399-420.

2004  Bobe, R., A.K. Behrensmeyer, and G. Carrasco. "Paleoclima y evolución faunística en el Plio-Pleistoceno de África y América del Sur," Ameghiniana 41(4): 641-649.

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 1001 (old 001): Biological Anthropology
Anth 3839/6839 (119/219): Laboratory Research Methods in Archaeology
Anth 6412 (247): Paleoanthropology: Hominid Paleoecology and Paleoclimate
Homp 8301: Problem-Based Learning Seminar


Last updated March 10, 2015