Upcoming lecture at Rice University

Next Monday I’ll be delivering the 2014 Kalb Lecture for the Department of History at Rice University. The lecture will review the ways that genetics is adding a “deep time” component to the study of human history. I’ll be talking about some recent results from ancient DNA and their intersection with some traditional problems in archaeology and human biology.

Does biology matter to history? Come and find out!

"How genetics is expanding and deepening history"
Monday, March 31, 2014
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
309 Sewall Hall
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA
The recovery of ancient DNA samples from Neolithic, Bronze Age and later peoples has begun to transform our understanding of migrations and connections among these ancient populations. At the same time, DNA evidence from living people has added new understanding to the causes of population growth and local adaptations to environments. We can begin to show how Tibetan peoples became adapted to high altitude, and how mixture with early Chinese farmers affected their population across the last few thousand years. We can see the replacement of early Arctic peoples by later ones, the effects of pre-classical Eurasian dispersals upon southern African indigenous peoples, the surprising influence of South Asians upon Aboriginal Australians. We know that today's Europeans are largely derived neither from early European hunter-gatherers nor from the first farmers, but from subsequent waves of population movement. These stories of perihistoric and prehistoric peoples are new narratives, some describing populations that no longer exist. Genetics additionally gives us ways to examine how environments and human interactions may have caused episodes of population growth and migration in the past.