Meet Our Wadsworth International Fellows: Penina Kadalida

With the support of the Wadsworth International Fellowship, Penina Kadalida will continue her second year of training in paleoanthropology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis - St. Paul, hosted by Martha Tappen.

I am currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in Biological Anthropology. Prior to this I completed a B.A. and M.A. in Archaeology at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania, from 2013-2017. I have participated in several projects: the Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project, the Olduvai Vertebrate Paleontological Project, and Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project. I worked as a T.A. while completing my M.A degree (2017-2020). After finishing my M.A. I worked as a part-time Assistant Lecturer at UDSM and was hired at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) in 2019, a constituent college of UDSM. I have attended and presented papers at different international conferences such as the Eastern Africa Paleoanthropology and Paleontology Project, Society of Africanist Archaeology (SAFA), Southern African Archaeology Students Council, and APHELEIA international seminars in Europe. I have also published two peer reviewed papers, one as sole author in the journal of UTAFITI, the African Archaeological Review.

My research focuses on African paleoanthropology with the goal of reconstructing hominin behavior based on Acheulean artifacts from northern Tanzania to expand our knowledge of early hominins’ biological and cultural evolution and improve our understandings about human origins, behavior, and evolution. Through my research I seek to shed new light on hominins’ environmental preferences, how the environment and climate influenced human evolution, and generate a proxy for establishing a regional map for the distribution of the Acheulean industry in Tanzania and eastern Africa.

I am thrilled to be a Ph.D. student at UMN as it offers many resources and opportunities for professional development. My ultimate goal is to become a senior paleoanthropological researcher who can share the knowledge gained at UMN and represent females and my community at large. Given that UDSM is the only institution in Tanzania that provides degrees in Palaeoanthropological studies, I also aspire to establish a Paleoanthropological lab in Tanzania so that more students and researchers can receive training in the field.