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Public Lecture Series with Nate Dominy

Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions


Nate Dominy will explore the geopolitical, social, and ecological conditions of East Africa during the 1890s, and how a combination of these factors led to the serial predation of humans by two male lions in 1898. The man-eaters of Tsavo have since attained a level of notoriety that is virtually unsurpassed in the annals of human-animal interactions. Their remains are displayed prominently in a popular diorama at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and they are the subjects of three Hollywood films as well as numerous books and articles. The fearful reality of cooperative, systematic man-eating has evidently left a lasting impression on our collective psyche. Yet many unanswered questions remain. Why did the two lions pursue human prey? And why did first-hand accounts describe differential prey selection? These idiosyncrasies of lion behavior invite study, and here Dominy will describe the results of collaborative research based on a stable isotope analysis of the Tsavo man-eaters and their prey.

Nathaniel Dominy FN'10 is a Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College. His field research is focused on the evolution and dietary ecology of humans and nonhuman primates, with a particular emphasis on living populations in East Africa and Southeast Asia. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Geographic Society, the Leakey Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. As a result of this funding, he has published over 100 articles in books or journals since receiving his PhD in 2001, including papers in Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Professor Dominy has been honored by faculties at the University of Hong Kong (the Dr. K. P. Stephen Chang Gold Medal in 2001 and the Li Ka-Shing Prize in 2002) and Dartmouth College (the Karen E. Wetterhahn Award in 2012, the Friedman Family Fellowship in 2012, the John M. Manley Huntington Award in 2015, and the C. Troy Shaver 1969 Fellowship in 2015). In addition to the Explorers Club, he is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Geographic Society, and the Linnean Society of London. Other distinctions are hyperbolic but generous, including profiles as a ‘Brilliant Ten’ scientist under the age of 40 (in 2009 by Popular Science magazine) and as one of '100 Most Influential People in the Upcoming Decade' (in 2011 by Channel Young, a Shanghai-based media group).

Date: Monday, November 21st

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Lecture

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $25

Student Ticket Price:

$5 with a valid Student ID

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