Out of Africa: The impacts of cold, junk food, and sex with other species

As modern humans moved out of Africa and rapidly around the world, they experienced a variety of different new environments that left impacts on the genetic diversity that exists today. Using the information preserved in over 1000 genomes from ancient skeletons in Europe, it is possible to see what factors had the biggest impacts on European genetic history. Cold was the biggest issue to start with, but was followed by the negative impacts of carbohydrate diets once farming started up around 8000 years ago. In contrast, genes that we gained from breeding with other species (e.g. Neandertals and Denisovans) seem to be more related to disease resistance. The ability to use genomes to examine human evolutionary history has opened a completely new volume of amazing events, stories, and adventures!

Bio

Professor Alan Cooper has been centrally involved in the development of the field of ancient DNA since its inception in the 1980s. He has built specialist research centres at Oxford and Adelaide universities and has studied the evolution of birds, mammals, and humans amongst many other areas. He is an ARC Laureate Fellow, and Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide. 

8:30pm @Republic (downstairs), 120 Magill Road, NORWOOD 5067

Also speaking at this location at 6:30pm is Louise Hull & Wendy Ingman.