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Visiting Fellow, 2020 – 2021

Mulugeta Alene Araya

Associate Professor, College of Natural Sciences Addis Ababa University


Photo by Erielle Bakkum

Mulugeta Alene Araya is an Associate Professor at AAU and adjunct Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University, where he was also Fulbright visiting scholar in 2011. Professor Araya was born and raised in Mekele, Tigrai, Ethiopia. For most of his academic and professional life he lived in Addis Ababa. He also lived and pursued higher education scholarships in England and Italy for some years. Mulugeta has been teaching geology courses at Addis Ababa University (AAU) since 1991. He is an expert in structural geology, petrology, and geologic mapping. His research interests range from the study of Neogene volcanism and tectonics of the Afar and East African Rifts in relation with the human evolution to understanding Neoproterozoic crustal formation, terrane accretion in the Arabian-Nubian Shield, and earliest Earth history. He has authored and co-authored over 40 peer reviewed articles and monographs. Currently he is involved in multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research projects, his role being mostly studying the geology and geochemistry of Afar Pliocene basalt and its implication on the nature of lithospheric plate motion, continental rift evolution, and basin development. During his residency at the Neubauer Collegium, he is collaborating as a member of the research team of the Geological Foundation of Human Evolution project.


Ethiopian landscape courtesy Zeray Alemseged

The Geological Foundation for Human Evolution

2020 – 2022