MacArthur Fellows Program

John G. Fleagle

Primatologist and Paleontologist | Class of 1988

Primatologist and Paleontologist
Stony Brook, New York
40 at time of award
Published August 1, 1988

About John's Work

John Fleagle is a primatologist whose work crosses the traditional boundaries separating behavior, ecology, functional anatomy, paleontology, and evolution.

Fleagle has done fieldwork in the United States, Egypt, Malaysia, Surinam, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Argentina, and Madagascar.  His work examines the evolutionary history of primates during the last 50 million years, through broad comparative analyses of both living and fossil primates.  He is the author of Primate Adaptation and Evolution (1988, 2d ed., 1998) and the founding editor of the Evolutionary Anthropology journal.  He is also the co-author of Primate Evolution and Human Origins (1985, 1987), and co-editor of The Human Evolution Source Book (1993), Anthropoid Origins (1994) and Primate Communities (1999).


In 2005, Fleagle directed a study in Ethiopia that established the fossil record of modern humans back to almost 200,000 years and reinforced the theories of an African origin for the human species, which had been in debate for over two decades.  He is the Distinguished Professor of Anatomical Sciences in the School of Medicine at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.

Fleagle received a B.S. (1971) from Yale University, and an M.S. (1973) and a Ph.D. (1976) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2006.

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