Conversations in Human Evolution

Posted on: 26 May 2020 by Lucy Timbrell in 2020 posts

Conversations in Human Evolution student blog logo.
We hear from Archaeology PhD student Lucy Timbrell about her new blog.

Archaeology PhD student Lucy Timbrell tells us about Conversations in Human Evolution - her new public engagement initiative aimed at highlighting and exploring the diversity of human evolution studies, through fun and educational interview-style blog posts.

I first had the idea for this project back in March after taking on the responsibility of co-organising the Evolutionary Anthropology Seminar Series. I thought that it would be a great to interview the guest speakers that we invited for these seminars to discuss their research as well as their experiences in academia, something that I find very interesting as an early career researcher. However, when the COVID19 situation escalated and our seminar series unfortunately got cancelled due to government restrictions, I had to get creative and explore alternative options. Now, instead of just interviewing those that were intending to visit Liverpool for our talks, I am regularly producing content featuring anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world in a wide range of disciplines. What started as a small project off the back of our seminar series has now gone viral with over 3,500 views from 59 different countries since my first post with Chris Hunt from LJMU back in March!

A few highlights so far have included an interview with our own John Gowlett, who gave me access to some fantastic photographs from throughout his remarkable career as an African archaeologist. John also recommended his top ten most influential books, which interestingly only included one archaeology book!

 Professor John Gowlett at the MSA site of Mweye in 1990

Professor John Gowlett at the MSA site of Mweye in 1990.

I equally really enjoyed interviewing Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist from Denmark whose work in ancient and environmental DNA has been revolutionary for studies of the deep past. Last week, I had the pleasure of featuring Shanti Pappu, the founder of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in India, and Eleanor Scerri, the leader of the Pan-African Origins Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, both absolute icons in their fields!

Dr Shanti Pappu and Dr Eleanor Scerri conducting excavations.

Professor Shanti Pappu and Dr Eleanor Scerri during their excavation seasons.

Collaborating with Chris Stringer was likewise incredible, and his post has been remarkably popular.

Professor Chris Stringer from the Natural History Museum

Professor Chris Stringer, Research Leader at the Natural History Museum in London.

You can receive email updates from Conversations in Human Evolution by following my blog on WordPress. I also provide regular updates on my Twitter and ResearchGate accounts.


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Study in the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool


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