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The homeland of our lineage, Africa encompasses a fossil hominin record across the last 6 million years or more. The genetics of African populations give us insights into the evolutionary history of humans across the last few hundred thousand years.

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How much Neandertal DNA do today's African peoples have?

New research shows that today's populations in Africa have around one third the Neandertal ancestry as people in Eurasia.

A male Neanderthal with white beard and long hair, holding spear
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Three big insights into our African origins

Recently, I delivered a lecture to the American Society for Human Genetics, focusing on the African record of human origins. It was a great privilege to speak to more than 5000 members of this professional organization, together with other distinguished experts on African genetic variation and health. Here I share

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Growing genetic data suggest a two-phase model for prehistoric population expansions in Africa

I describe results from two papers of African genetic variation, which show that the population growth from agriculture followed an earlier demographic expansion.

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Modern human origins was more interesting than a single point of dispersal

A study of SNP variation across Africa enables us to look at a structured ancestral population long before 100,000 years ago.

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Gertrude Caton Thompson within the history of archaeology in Africa

As I read through the 20th-century archaeologist's memoirs, I find the flavor of the field in the 1920s and 1930s.

Gertrude Caton Thompson portrait