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Shane Campbell-Staton ’08

Biologist Explores ‘Human Footprint’ on PBSPrinceton biology professor hosts a six-part series, traveling the world to explore how humans have affected the planet.
photo of biologist Shane Campbell-StatonWORLD VIEW: Across a globe-spanning series, Campbell-Staton explores how humans came to be Earth’s dominant species and what that means for people and the planet. (Photograph: Days’ Edge Productions)

Noted evolutionary biologist Shane Campbell-Staton ’08 combines his work as a scientist, teacher, and communicator this summer for a new PBS television series that looks at how the development of humans as a species has come to dominate and reshape life on Earth.

In Human Footprint, set to air beginning in July, Campbell-Staton travels to sites around the world to explore the unusually powerful influence that human activity has had on the evolution of other species, on the planet, and on ideas of human nature itself.

The series is the latest in the National Science Foundation–funded researcher’s efforts to share the work of scientists with a wide and diverse public audience. He’s also the creator and host of a podcast, The Biology of Superheroes, that uses graphic novels, comics, movies, and television shows to discuss the possibilities and the limits of science.

This spring, Campbell-Staton gave the keynote presentation at the University’s Juneteenth Celebration, where he discussed challenges he overcame at Rochester and elsewhere; life lessons he’s learned; and connections between biology and human history, science, politics, economics, culture, and racism.