EMBL Forum Lectures
Wednesday, 24 October 2012, 14:00, Chadwick Amphitheatre, Institute Laue Langevin, Grenoble
Jean-Jacques Hublin, Director Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Rethinking Human Origins
The development of a large brain is one of the most spectacular aspects of human evolution. Over the last half million years, this increase in size has culminated in several groups of hominines, among which Neandertals and Modern Humans are the best known. Our adaptive success primarily results from the very high degree of cognitive complexity allowed by this costly organ. However, this evolution was made possible only via radical modifications in birth, growth and reproduction. Human evolution is a niche construction in which genetic, cultural and social changes have constantly interacted.
Jean-Jacques Hublin is director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany). His research mostly focuses on the origin and evolution of Neanderthals and modern humans, and he is most known for his seminal role in the development of virtual paleoanthropology. He has taught human evolution at the universities of Paris, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Bordeaux and Leiden. Professor Hublin is the President of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE).