Evolution of Modern Humans - From Bones to Genomes

How did our species, Homo sapiens, become what it is today? How did our ancestors spread across the globe? How did their bodies and minds evolve?

The study of these fascinating questions has seen a veritable revolution in recent years: genome sequencing of ancient and extant humans, and their relatives, has revealed our evolutionary history in unprecedented detail and sheds light on how humans adapted; new analyses of fossils and archaeology reveal what makes humans so unique.

Our Cell Symposium ‘Evolution of Modern Humans — From Bones to Genomes’ pays homage to this revolution by bringing together an uniquely broad mix of world-class researchers who study the evolution of our species from various angles — from palaeoanthropology to genetics, genomics and archaeogenetics, through to the study of cultural and cognitive processes. This meeting will synthesize our current picture of the evolution of modern humans and formulate the most exciting questions for future research.

Session Topics:

Human genetics and genomics
Cognition and culture
+ show speakers and program
Sunday 16 March, 2014
12:00-13:45 Registration
13:45-14:00 Welcome and introduction
Opening & Session 1 - Human Genetics
14:00-15:00 Keynote: Matt Ridley
The evolution of the cloud – the role of exchange and specialization in explaining the emergence of behaviourally modern humans, KEY01
15:00-15:30 Sarah Tishkoff, University of Pennsylvania, USA
African Evolutionary Genomics: Implications for human origins and adaptation, INV01
15:30-16:00 John Novembre, University of Chicago, USA
Human population structure across diverse spatial scales, INV02
16:00-16:30 Coffee break
Session 1 - Human Genetics continues
16:30-17:00 Lluis Quintana-Murci, Institut Pasteur, France
Genetic and epigenetic landscape of African rainforest hunter-gatherers and farmers, INV03
17:00-17:15 Short Talk 1
17:15-17:30 Short Talk 2
17:30-19:00 Welcome drinks reception – including 5 poster teasers
Monday 17 March, 2014
Session 2 - Paleoanthropology
08:45-09:15 Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum, UK
The evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens, INV04
09:15-09:45 Ofer Bar-Yosef, Harvard University, USA
Pleistocene human dispersals across Eurasia, INV05
09:45-10:00 Short talk 3
10:00-10:30 Coffee break
Session 2 - Paleoanthropology continues
10:30-11:00 Tim Weaver, University of California, USA
Human paleontology in the genomics era, INV06
11:00-11:30 Jean-Jacques Hublin, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Germany
Can the Location of the African Cradle for Modern Humans be determined?, INV07
11:30-11:45 Short talk 4
11:45-12:00 Short talk 5
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Poster session 1
Session 3 - Archaeogenetics
14:30-15:00 Svante Pääbo, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany Title TBC, INV08
15:00-15:30 Carles Lalueza-Fox, Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Spain
Paleogenomics and the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Europe, INV09
15:30-15:45 Short talk 6
15:45-16:15 Coffee break
Session 3 - Archaeogenetics continues
16:15-16:45 Eske Willerslev, Copenhagen University, Denmark
What we can Learn from Ancient Human Genetics and Genomics, INV10
16:45-17:15 Mathias Jakobsson, Uppsala University, Sweden
The genomic footprints of Neolithic Europeans, INV11
17:15-17:30 Short talk 7
17:30-17:45 Short talk 8
19:00-22:30 Meet the speakers dinner – ticket holders only
Tuesday 18 March 2014
Session 4 - Adaptation
09:00-9:30 Anna Di Rienzo, University of Chicago, USA
Genetic adaptations to new environments in humans, INV12
9:30-10:00 Wolfgang Enard, Ludwig-Maximilans University Munich, Germany
Mouse Models For Human Brain Evolution, INV13
10:00-10:15 Short talk 9
10:15-10:45 Coffee break
Session 4 - Adaptation continues
Cliff Tabin, Harvard University, USA
Evolution of human-specific morphological traits, INV14
11:15-11:45 Elinor Karlsson, Harvard University FAS Center for Systems Biology, USA
Natural selection in a Bangladeshi population from the cholera-endemic Ganges River Delta, INV15
11:45-12:00 Short talk 10
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Poster session 2
Session 5 - Cultural Evolution
14:30-15:00 Kevin Laland, University of St. Andrews, UK
The evolution of culture, INV16
15:00-15:30 Mark Pagel, Reading University, UK
Title TBC, INV17
15:30-15:45 Tecumseh Fitch, University of Vienna, Austria
Language Evolution: Using Genetic Data to test the Hypotheses, INV18
15:45-16:15 Closing remarks

16 Mar - 18 Mar 2014
meeting website