Sandi Copeland is a paleoanthropologist interested in the ecology and environments of human evolution in Africa. Her current research uses strontium isotopes to investigate the landscape movements of animals, including early hominins and other fossil fauna in southern and eastern Africa. Her research in the Sterkfontein Valley, South Africa, also seeks to broaden our understanding of how biologically available strontium isotopes vary across geological zones in soils, plants, and animals. Sandi is also affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder, where in 2007 she completed a post-doc that included field work in South Africa, carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of modern East African fauna at the University of Bradford, and strontium isotope analyses at the University of Cape Town.
Sandi received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University where she participated in four excavation seasons at Olduvai Gorge and spent a year in the Serengeti ecosystem of Tanzania conducting modern vegetation studies in order to reconstruct ancient vegetation and plant foods for early hominins at Olduvai. She also spent three years excavating prehistoric Pueblo sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, where she was the archaeology lab director.
Department of Human Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6