Anne Skinner Receives Fulbright Fellowship to Research in Brazil

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 6, 2017—Anne Skinner, senior lecturer emerita in chemistry at Williams College, has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to spend four months doing research in Brazil in 2018.

Skinner’s project, “Shining Light on the Early Human Occupation of Northeast Brazil: A Multi-Institutional and Multidisciplinary Approach,” will combine excavations in the UNESCO Human Heritage region of Parque Nacional Serra da Capivara with lectures and demonstrations at four Brazilian institutions, using excavated material to improve inter-laboratory collaboration. Her research dates fossils by measuring the accumulation of radiation damage during burial. Her previous studies in Brazil have challenged the “Clovis First” paradigm of the settlement of the Americas.

“I feel fortunate to have international recognition of this type of work and my research,” Skinner said. “And I am grateful for the opportunity to investigate the early occupation of Brazil in depth.”

Over the last 30 years, Skinner has been involved with determining the age of prehistoric sites on every continent except Antarctica. Her lab at Williams is the only one in the United States doing this type of work. She has received multiple grants, most recently a Dreyfus Foundation Senior Mentor grant. She has been featured on a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) program about the Homo erectus in Africa. Skinner involves students in her research, including presenting materials at international conferences.

A physical chemist by training, Skinner’s work is multidisciplinary, combining chemistry, biology, geology, anthropology and archaeology.

Teaching at Williams since 1977, Skinner has a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Yale University.

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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