Meet the two field researchers, or "achroniologists," traveling into the human past to understand our origins.

Evelyn Willoughby

A professor of anthropology and genomics at the Max Planck Leipzig School of Human Origins, Evelyn was born with an insatiable desire to understand human history. Though she spent her early years in the U.S., she later moved to Nigeria and has traveled to nearly every country on the continent since then. Evelyn has conducted field work among the San of Lesotho, and participated in archaeological digs in Kenya, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula.

When not out in the field or her lab, Evelyn spends her time cycling and hiking. She completed her first Iron Man race last year and is certified as a wilderness medic. For the non-academic crowd, you may recognize her from season two of the survival show Wild Ride.

Andrea Chang

This Vancouver native has already made a splash in the field of primatology and geobiology, despite being only 30. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, Andrea has received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic to study primate dispersal in Southeast Asia, as well as the interplay between microorganisms, geology, and the evolutionary trajectory of mammals. Her research has been published in the journals Science and Nature and has received acclaim from the sci-comm community for her vlog “Field Notes from the Quaternary.” A viewer favorite showed Andrew using a bow and arrow to hunt an invasive species of rodent on Indonesia.

Though Andrea spends most of her time doing research or recording videos about it, she also enjoys reading, playing with her dog, visiting relatives in Taiwan, paragliding, spelunking, and doing any other activity that her parents would call “too dangerous.”

To learn more about the researchers, visit the Mission Blog to read their personal Q&As or their pre-departure notes.