John Kappelman grew up on a family farm in southwestern Idaho. He holds a joint PhD in anthropology and earth and planetary sciences from Harvard and a BS in geology and geophysics from Yale. The primary focus of his research is hominoid evolution and human origins and evolution, with particular emphasis in paleoecology and functional morphology, and stratigraphy and paleomagnetism. He has carried out field work in many parts of African and Asian and currently conducts field projects in Ethiopia and Turkey. He is also active in CT imaging of fossils and in 2008 headed the team that completed the first high-resolution imaging of the fossil Lucy.
He is also active in producing digital educational materials that include www.eSkeletons.org, www.eLucy.org, and www.eFossils.org.