Jackson Njau

Jackson Njau

Associate Professor

Office:   GY513
Phone:   812-856-3170

Non-Departmental Academic Positions

  • Research Associate, The Stone Age Institute and the Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology (CRAFT), Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., 2006, Rutgers University
  • M.A., 2000, Rutgers University
  • B.A. 1992, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Previous Positions

  • 2009-11 Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Human Evolution Research Center, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2006-11 Principal Curator, National Museum of Tanzania, Tanzania

Research Interests

Investigating the environmental, climatic and ecological drivers of human evolution. My research combines broad range of paleoanthropological approaches including archaeology, paleontology, taphonomy and Earth sciences to address big questions such as the timing and mode of hominin evolution in Africa during the late Cenozoic.

Vertebrate taphonomy focusing on the impact of crocodylians predation on the evolution of hominin cognition and behavior.

Research Projects

Over the years I have co-led various interdisciplinary research projects in Africa:

  • Olduvai Gorge Coring Project (OGCP). The influence of climatic, environmental and tectonic change on human evolution in Africa through scientific drilling and seismology.
  • Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGCP). The origin of Acheulean in Eastern Africa.
  • Olduvai Vertebrate Paleontology Project (OVPP)
  • Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project (OLAPP). The origin of Oldowan hominin behavior and land use behavior.
  • Tanzania International Paleoanthropological Research Project. Systematic field survey of the Eastern Africa Rift System (Tanzanian sector) for Tanzanian sector for paleontological and archaeological resources.

Awards and Fellowships

  1. Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, Rutgers University
  2. J. Flannagan, Graduate Fellowship, Rutgers University
  3. Wenner-Gren Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  4. Baldwin Fellowship, The Leakey Foundation


Roles on major committees within the Department and University, and aspects of professional service:

Department: Former Graduate Admission Committee, Current Undergraduate Committee member.

Professional: Former review panelist for NSF; previously grant reviewer for National Geographic Society, Leakey Foundation, NSF, Palaeontological Scientific Trust; Previously Associate Editor for Journal of Human Evolution; Judge for the American Association of Physical Anthropology, Pollitzer graduate travel grant; Vice President, Eastern Africa Association for Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology (EAAPP).