Speakers

Invited Talks

Professor Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is an evolutionary geneticist who has worked on a wide range of subjects, among them human demographic and evolutionary history inference, molecular phylogenetics and cultural evolutionary modelling. He holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and did postdoctoral research at the department of Biological Anthropological at the University of Cambridge. Presently he is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London.

He co-authored the ancient Y-chromosome paper which provides the inspiration for the more speculative talks concerning a possible forest origin of man which are the main focus of this conference.

More Info: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/mace-lab/people/mark

Dr. Peter Walsh

Peter Walsh is a quantitative ecologist with an interest in ape conservation, disease ecology, animal movement and social networks. He has worked in Western Equatorial Africa since 1996. He holds a PhD from Yale University and had positions in the Wildlife Conservation Society, at Princeton University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Currently he is a lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

More info: http://www.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/s_pwalsh.html

Dr. Thomas Currie

Tom Currie is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Human Evolutionary Ecology Research Group of the Department of Anthropology at UCL. He applies evolutionary theory and quantitative methods to investigate human behaviour and cultural evolution. His work includes research on the evolution of socio-political complexity, cultural diversity and phylogenetic methods.

More info: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucsatec/

Dr. Corey Fincher

Corey Fincher holds a PhD in Biology from the University of New Mexico. He is an ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Face Research Lab at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology of the University of Glasgow. His research interests include the origins of cultural and biological diversity and socio-cultural responses to infectious disease stress. Previously he was an instructor and Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico.

More info: http://facelab.org/People/fincher

Panellists

Panel A: “Spatialising” research on human genetic diversity

Laurent Excoffier

CMPG, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern

Laurent Excoffier is a leading expert in the development of computational methods in population genetics. He studies evolutionary processes at the population and species level, and the effect of complex demography on genetic diversity. He uses approximate Bayesian computation methods to reconstruct the demographic history of a species from its genetic diversity. He and his team produce and maintain a number of widely used scientific software packages, including among others Arlequin, BayeScan, SPLATCHE, ADMIX, SIMCOAL2.

Mark Thomas

Research Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment, University College London

Mark Thomas is an evolutionary geneticist who has worked on a wide range of subjects, among them human demographic and evolutionary history inference, molecular phylogenetics and cultural evolutionary modelling. He holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and did postdoctoral research at the department of Biological Anthropological at the University of Cambridge. Presently he is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London.

He co-authored the ancient Y-chromosome paper which provides the inspiration for the more speculative talks concerning a possible forest origin of man which are the main focus of this conference.

Aylwyn Scally

Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge

Aylwyn Scally is a group leader in evolutionary genomics at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on evolutionary and demographic processes that shape genetic diversity in species and individuals. He is particularly interested in the timescales and events of human and primate evolution. He uses population genetic approaches and data-intensive computational methods and is interested in relating genetic data to evidence from palaeoanthropology, ecology and environmental studies. In his most recent research he has worked on the gorilla genome sequence and on revising mutation rate estimates in the evolution of the hominid lineage.

Anders Eriksson

Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

In his research Anders Eriksson is interested in how population dynamics and structure, together with selection, mutation and recombination, shape the patterns of genetic variation in human populations. He uses spatially explicit models of the movement of individuals between populations, in combination with realistic models of microsatellite evolution and databases of current global genetic diversity, to reconstruct the tempo and mode of early human expansions out of Africa.

Joseph Lachance

Department of Genetics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Joseph Lachance is currently a member of the Tishkoff Lab where his research focuses on human evolutionary genomics and theoretical population genetics. In particular, he has worked on the genomics of diverse African populations and disentangling ancient population structure from the molecular signature of natural selection. He has also worked on epistatic gene interactions and incipient speciation in Drosophila melanogaster.

Panel B:“Spatialising” research on cultural diversity 

Pete Richerson

Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California Davis

Pete Richerson is a leading scientist in research on cultural evolution. He and his frequent collaborator Robert Boyd (Department of Anthropology, UCLA) have published a number of widely read books and numerous papers on the topic, including “Culture and the Evolutionary Process” and “Not by Genes Alone”. In their work, they mainly use theoretical methods developed by evolutionary biologists to study the processes of cultural evolution, social learning, and gene-culture co-evolution. There research interests are broad and range from the origins of cumulative culture, language evolution, cooperation and group boundary formation, to the origins of agriculture.

William Banks

CNRS & PACEA, University of Bordeaux

William Banks is a Palaeolithic archaeologist who employs eco-cultural niche modelling to understand patterns and processes in human evolution. He and his team developed eco-cultural niche modelling from ecological niche modelling and evolutionary ecology.  Eco-cultural niche modelling can integrate information from archaeological GIS-databases and theoretical considerations, and is particularly valuable to analyse human-environment interactions, the spatial extent of past human cultures, and the responses of past human populations to climate change.

Peter Walsh

Division of Biological Anthropology, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Peter Walsh is a quantitative ecologist with an interest in ape conservation, disease ecology, animal movement and social networks. He has worked in Western Equatorial Africa since 1996. He holds a PhD from Yale University and had positions in the Wildlife Conservation Society, at Princeton University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Currently he is a Lecturer at the Division of Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

Tom Currie

Department of Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus

Tom Currie was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Human Evolutionary Ecology Research Group of the Department of Anthropology at UCL, and is now a Lecturer at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Exeter. He applies evolutionary theory and quantitative methods to investigate human behaviour and cultural evolution. His work includes research on the evolution of socio-political complexity, cultural diversity and phylogenetic methods.

Corey Fincher

University of Glasgow Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology

Corey Fincher holds a PhD in Biology from the University of New Mexico. He is an ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Face Research Lab at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology of the University of Glasgow. His research interests include the origins of cultural and biological diversity and socio-cultural responses to infectious disease stress. Previously he was an instructor and Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico.