Kaye Reed's main research interests explores the community ecology of primates and mammals as a research tool to better understand living diversity and biogeography across continents and within regions. More recently, she has led a large team that has been working to find out if there is a connection between the origins of our Homo genus and the origins of systematic stone tool manufacture. A new archaeological site discovered by her team has now shown that the origins of stone tool production are older than 2.58 million years ago. Previously, the oldest evidence for systematic stone tool production and use was 2.58 million to 2.55 million years ago. Analysis by the researchers of early stone age sites suggests that stone tools may have been invented many times in many ways before becoming an essential part of the human lineage.
Reed is a President’s Professor and director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. She is also a research associate with the Institute of Human Origins.