Faye McGechie of Ahwatukee is one of many Arizona State University undergraduate students engaged in research projects under the direct guidance of top-level faculty. In this case, she has Institute of Human Origins director and paleoanthropologist William Kimbel showing her the ropes.

McGechie, a junior in anthropology who graduated from Desert Vista High School, spent six weeks in Ethiopia as part of the ASU Hadar field school led by Kimbel. She surveyed the desert land for fossilized bone, investigating the age and origin of bones modified by stone tools.

Currently, she is engaged in a research project with evolutionary anthropology doctoral student Halszka Glowacka.

McGechie is measuring more than 250 dental specimens for variation in features of the third molar, to determine if more than one species of pliopithecoid could be represented at the fossil site of Rudabánya.

In addition, McGechie recently worked as an intern in the Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change. She is now interning as the Institute of Human Origins’ student worker.

McGechie also holds office as vice president of the Barrett Leadership and Service Team and the Undergraduate Anthropology Association. She plans to continue on to graduate school in anthropology, followed by a career in the field.

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