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Hunting for the earliest canines

Winter 2016

Greger Larson ’96 uses scientific methods to explore hip, cool subjects.

Back in 2012, for instance, CMC Magazine profiled Larson’s statistical analysis of the live performances of the band Pearl Jam—and his appearance in the DVD edition of Cameron Crowe’s documentary film about the Seattle-based band, “Pearl Jam Twenty.”

Larson talked to Crowe about fan favorite albums and how songs have fared in the band’s set lists over the years.

Today, Larson, who is a biologist in Oxford’s archeology department, is leading a major effort among scientists to find the answer to the question: Where do dogs come from?

A January science article in the New York Times, “The Big Search to Find out Where Dogs Come From,” shines a spotlight on Larson’s effort to put together this study, which will determine where and when the domestication process of dogs began (is it closer to 15,000 or 30,000 years ago?).

The Times article also hails Larson for pulling off another feat: uniting a broad range of scientists, which “is something of a triumph, given the many competing theories in this field.” – NO’90