AncientAncestors was first sparked in 2013 when Chris Bayer and Michael Luberda met in a New Orleans bike store. 

Michael, Co-founder and Director, is a graduate of Tulane University in Anthropology with a focus in Archeology.  Michael's academic focus was Human Prehistory and the rise of civilization, which led to his field work through UCLA at the Chalcolithic site, Areni Cave, Armenia.  In New Orleans he served as the Science Station Guy at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum.

Co-founder Dr. Chris Bayer spent the first decade of the new millenium working in Africa for Tulane University, which exposed him to many of the valuable sites and artifacts unearthed in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa.

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AncientAncestors © 2023  |  All Rights Reserved

Chris N. Bayer, PhD

Michael Luberda

We develop inquiry-based educational labs and then study their impact on student's knowledge acquisition.  

Young minds are presented with varied, and in many cases, competing ideas on the origins of our species.  Our advocacy begins with fostering scientific inquiry in the classroom, and assisting teachers to deliver quality labs to their students.

We believe that the coming generations depend on being well informed about our origins and human evolution not just to make sense of our world but also to shape it for the better. Facilitating students' interaction with the most compelling evidence for human evolution is our mission.


Thus far, our work has centered on developing and scaling up the reach of our 'Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day!' lab at the high school level.

AncientAncestors performed its lab in nine high schools in southern Louisiana in the 2013/2014 school year.  Standard public schools, magnet schools, and parochial schools were all a part of our initial outreach effort.  Our two-hour course was provided free of charge with the cooperation and assistance of biology teachers, and their feedback was essential in honing our curriculum to its current level.

Currently, our lab is being rolled out by various teachers across the US. In Germany, we collaborate with Dr. Dustin Eirdosh and Dr. Susan Hanisch at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.