Professor discusses Neanderthal DNA research on Academic Minute

Geher Glenn Psychology Class_0055Glenn Geher, professor and chair of Psychology as well as director of Evolutionary Studies at SUNY New Paltz, was featured on the nationally syndicated educational radio program “The Academic Minute,” speaking about his research on Neanderthal DNA.

In his audio essay, which was broadcast April 7, Geher notes that recent genetic evidence has revealed that modern humans hybridized to some extent with Neanderthals approximately 40,000 years ago.

“We all vary in terms of how much of our individual genome overlaps with the best estimates we have of typical Neanderthal genomes,” he said. “Some of us have more Neanderthal in us than do others.”

The New Paltz Neanderthal Project, which Geher discusses in his essay, includes the administration of a battery of personality and psychological measures to individuals who have had their personal genomes mapped to examine the correlates of relative Neanderthalness. Based on this methodology, he hopes to reconstruct the behavioral and personality features of Neanderthals by seeing which variables people who score high in Neanderthalness tend to demonstrate.

To listen to Geher’s “Academic Minute” or read a transcript, visit

About “The Academic Minute
“The Academic Minute” is an educationally focused radio segment produced by WAMC in Albany, N.Y., a National Public Radio member station. The show features an array of faculty from colleges and universities across the country to discuss the unique, high-impact aspects of their research. The program airs every weekday and is run multiple times during the day on about 50 different member stations across the National Public Radio spectrum. For more information, visit