CARTA Leadership Transition: July 1, 2022

CARTA Co-Directors

Almost 15 years ago, CARTA grew out of ongoing anthropogeny-focused discussions and collaborations that began in La Jolla in the 1990s. CARTA now comprises over 400 members spanning numerous disciplines, institutions, and countries. Our membership serves as a catalyst for vibrant, ongoing interactions, as well as engaging symposia (online videos of our public symposia have had over 40 million views online), generating "CARTA-inspired" publications, and supporting a one-of-a-kind, transdisciplinary graduate specialization track in anthropogeny at UC San Diego. For a closer look at the evolution of CARTA over the years, see this timeline.

Though coordinating this improbable venture has been very rewarding, CARTA Leadership has decided it is time to hand things over to the next generation. A leadership transition plan has been put in place to ensure continued success.

Effective July 1, Pascal Gagneux, current CARTA Associate Director and UC San Diego Professor of Pathology and Anthropology, will assume the role of Executive Co-Director, directing the day-to-day operations and staffing of CARTA. Joining Pascal as Co-Directors are Katerina Semendeferi (Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Laboratory for Human Comparative Neuroanatomy, UC San Diego) and Gerald F. Joyce (Professor and Chief Scientific Officer, Salk Institute).

We also welcome to the CARTA Leadership team our new Associate Directors, Alysson R. Muotri (Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego) and Rachel Mayberry (Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Laboratory for Multi-Modal Language Development, UC San Diego), and Internal Advisors, Robert Kluender (Professor of Linguistics, UC San Diego) and Carol Marchetto (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC San Diego).

Please join us in congratulating and supporting our new CARTA Leadership in their new roles.

In addition, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to our original cohort of Internal and External Advisors who were with us from the start. Without their wisdom, sage advice, and support, CARTA would not be what it is today.

Ajit Varki, Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego
Fred H. Gage, Professor and President, Salk Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Neurosciences, UC San Diego
Margaret Schoeninger, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Anthropology, UC San Diego

To celebrate the outgoing leaders and welcome the incoming leaders, CARTA held a private local event on June 14, 2022:

Outgoing CARTA Leadership

From L to R: Pascal Gagneux (Incoming CARTA Executive Co-Director);
Margaret Schoeninger, Ajit Varki, and Fred Gage (All Outgoing CARTA Co-Directors)

Leadership Transition Event Space

Leadership Transition Celebration Event Space:
UC San Diego Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion

Leadership Transition Event Guests

Leadership Transition Celebration Guests:
Local CARTA Members and CARTA Charitable Supporters

Bespoke music videos were created by 2016 CARTA symposium performer, award-winning rap artist, and playwright, Baba Brinkman, especially to celebrate the CARTA Leadership Transition. Click the images below to watch:

CARTA Leadership Effective July 1, 2022


  • Pascal Gagneux, Professor of Pathology and Anthropology, UC San Diego
  • Katerina Semendeferi, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Laboratory for Human Comparative Neuroanatomy, UC San Diego
  • Gerald Joyce, Professor and Chief Scientific Officer, Salk Institute

Associate Directors

  • Rachel Mayberry, Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Laboratory for Multi-Modal Language Development, UC San Diego
  • Alysson R. Muotri, Professor of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego

Internal Advisors

* Emeriti Internal Advisors

External Advisors

  • Alyssa Crittenden, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Derek Denton,** Founding Director, Howard Florey Institute, University of Melbourne
  • Evan Eichler, HHMI Principal Investigator and Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington
  • Daniel Geschwind, Gordon and Virginia Macdonald Distinguished Professor in Human Genetics, Neurology, and Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
  • Kristen Hawkes,** Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah
  • Joseph Henrich, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology and Chair, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
  • Sarah B. Hrdy,** Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of California, Davis
  • Jon Kaas,** Distinguished Centennial Professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
  • Svante Pääbo,** Director, Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
  • Terry Sejnowski, Professor and Laboratory Head, Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, Francis Crick Chair, Salk Institute
  • Anne Stone, Regents Professor and Associate Director, Center for Evolution & Medicine, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University
  • Sarah Tishkoff, David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Bernard Wood,** University Professor of Human Origins and Professor of Evolutionary Anatomy, George Washington University

** Emeriti External Advisors