Nearly $5 million was awarded to team of scientists led by Andrew S. Cohen, a University of Arizona professor of geosciences.
Cohen is the head of The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project.
The National Science Foundation awarded $4.78 million to the project which researches links between human evolution and climate.
How past environmental factors affected human evolution could show the implications of climate change for humans today and in the future.
The drilling project takes core samples of sediment from dry lake beds.
An approximately 750-foot long core was collected at the Tugen Hills, Central Kenya study site. This core will provide a record of climate and environmental conditions for central Kenya covering the period from about 3.5 to 2.5 million years ago. (Photo courtesy of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project)
The lake beds selected for study are in Africa's Rift Valley in Kenya and Ethiopia.
It is in this area where hominins originated.
Hominins are the ancient ancestors or the near-relatives of the humans that populate the world today.
The new funding allows Cohen and this team to do additional drilling plus add a team of researchers to the project that can model climate conditions during the time the hominins lived in the area.