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.
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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 lucy.timbrell@liverpool.ac.uk