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Professor Lynne Schepartz

- Wits University

Professor Lynne Schepartz is the Head of the Biological Anthropology Division in the School of Anatomical Sciences.

Professor Lynne Schepartz is the Head of the Biological Anthropology Division in the School of Anatomical Sciences. She joined the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences in October 2011 as Associate Professor to take up her current post.

 She is an active fieldworker and researcher in human skeletal biology (prehistoric health and mortuary archaeology) and palaeoanthropology (evolution of language and behavioral complexity). She currently works in China and Greece and she is developing new projects in South Africa.

Schepartz is interested in the interaction of biology and behavior, such as how male and female health can differ significantly due to different roles in society. She is currently working on a new research project with colleague Professor Jeff Yengopal of Community Dentistry. The research aims to develop dental growth standards for black South Africans, based on the data from children in Diepsloot. Schepartz is also initiating another project investigating the effects of high parity on female oral health in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Her career was strongly influenced by her undergraduate mentor, Professor Alan Mann (who worked on South African australopithecines), and Professor Milford Wolpoff. These remarkable individuals, says Schepartz, both taught her how to look at other things in a broader picture and to be multidisciplinary in her approach to science.

When Schepartz is not working on her ground-breaking research studies, she collects traditional crafts and textiles for her office and home. She loves to travel with friends (Russia and Victoria Falls are her new destinations for 2016), and playing with her canine friend. One of her indulgences is spending time in her garden reading.

Read one of Professor Schepartz’s articles: Wu X, Schepartz LA, Liu W, and Trinkaus E. (2011). Antemortem trauma and survival in the Late Middle Pleistocene human cranium from Maba, China. PNAS 108(49):19558-19562

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