Photograph of Dr Agustin Fuentes

Developing a human niche: diversity and multifaceted evolutionary dynamics in Pleistocene Homo

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 14th October 2021
Type: Webinar / Category: Department / Series: Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology Seminar Series
  • Suitable for: Everyone.
  • Admission: Free.
  • Add this event to my calendar

    Create a calendar file

    Click on "Create a calendar file" and your browser will download a .ics file for this event.

    Microsoft Outlook: Download the file, double-click it to open it in Outlook, then click on "Save & Close" to save it to your calendar. If that doesn't work go into Outlook, click on the File tab, then on Open & Export, then Open Calendar. Select your .ics file then click on "Save & Close".

    Google Calendar: download the file, then go into your calendar. On the left where it says "Other calendars" click on the arrow icon and then click on Import calendar. Click on Browse and select the .ics file, then click on Import.

    Apple Calendar: The file may open automatically with an option to save it to your calendar. If not, download the file, then you can either drag it to Calendar or import the file by going to File >Import > Import and choosing the .ics file.

The genus Homo (humans) is represented by phenotypically and geographically diverse populations across the Pleistocene (the last ~2 million years). Fossil and archaeological evidence demonstrate that a particular suite of phenotypes and behavioural ecologies, a “human niche,” emerges across this period, with the appearance and pervasiveness of contemporary human processes/patterns ratcheting up in the last 2-300,000 years or so. Traditionally, trait-focused selection models have dominated explanations for the development and success of the suite of morphological and behavioural characteristics associated with Homo sapiens. However, recent expansion of our paleoanthropological and genomic datasets suggest that augmenting our explanatory lens is warranted. In this talk Dr Agustin Fuentes review key patterns in Homo across the Pleistocene and argue that a focus on diversity in bodies, behaviour and evolutionary processes offers a more comprehensive, and effective, approach to understanding human evolution and the emergence of the human niche.

In affiliation with: Princeton University.

Zoom registration information: contact Lucy Timbrell