IMPACT EVENT -The Tales Teeth Tell

Come along to a memorable evening with Associate Professor Tanya Smith to celebrate the worldwide launch of her new popular science book The Tales Teeth Tell: Development, Evolution and Behavior.

bookcoverFollowing an intriguing overview of the many surprises our own teeth hold, join members of Griffith’s Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution and the Environmental Futures Research Institute for a reception to learn more about their groundbreaking research. A limited number of books will be available from MIT Press for purchase and signing at the event. bookcoverOur teeth have intriguing stories to tell.

These sophisticated time machines record growth, diet, and evolutionary history as clearly as tree rings map a redwood’s lifespan. Each day of childhood is etched into tooth crowns and roots—capturing birth, nursing history, environmental clues, and illnesses. The study of ancient, fossilized teeth sheds light on how our ancestors grew up, how we evolved, and how prehistoric cultural transitions continue to affect humans today. In The Tales Teeth Tell, biological anthropologist Tanya Smith offers an engaging and surprising look at what teeth tell us about the evolution of primates—including our own uniqueness.


Associate Professor Tanya Smith

Tanya Smith is an Associate Professor in the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University. She has previously held a professorship at Harvard University and fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. In her lab she explores the remarkably faithful records of daily growth, infant diet, and stress that are preserved inside teeth. Her research has helped to identify the origins of a fundamental human adaptation: the costly yet advantageous shift from a “live fast and die young” strategy to the “live slow and grow old” strategy that has helped to make us one of the most successful primates on the planet. Dr. Smith’s research has been highlighted by The New York Times, National Geographic, Nature, Science, and the World Science Festival as well as through Australasian, European, and North American broadcast media.