SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (GOOD THINGS UTAH) — Ella Al-Shamahi is an extraordinary individual, to say the least. She is a National Geographic Explorer, a paleoanthropologist, an evolutionary biologist, a stand-up comic, a TV personality, and an author of the book “The Handshake.” And tonight, she will present the keynote talk “Exploring Dangerous Places” at Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus as part of the NHMU Lecture Series Frontlines of Archaeology.

Al-Shamahi specializes in Neanderthals, caves, and expeditions in hostile, disputed, and dangerous territories. She almost exclusively works in places where it is hard to get insurance, such as Iraq, Yemen, Nagorno-Karabakh, and places she cannot publicly admit to. From heading up exploratory expeditions to joining cave excavations, the conditions can be unusual, from avoiding landmines to wearing a burqa for security reasons.

Al-Shamahi’s keynote talk promises to be exciting, educational, and inspiring. She will share her experiences exploring some of the world’s most dangerous and remote locations, her insights into the Neanderthal world, and her work in understanding the evolution of humanity. Her talk is a grand finale of the NHMU Lecture Series Frontlines of Archaeology, and tickets are still available for the in-person lecture at Kingsbury Hall or for the virtual live stream of the lecture.

For the in-person lecture, tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for University of Utah faculty, staff, and students with an active UID. The virtual live stream tickets are available for $20, and for viewing parties greater than two, the cost is $40. You can purchase tickets online at