'Lise Meitner' Pan-African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev)
The Pan-African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev) is led by Dr Eleanor Scerri through the framework of the Max Planck Society's flagship Lise Meitner Excellence Programme. Pan-Ev is exploring the African origins of our species, Homo sapiens, through a combination of fieldwork and modelling projects.
We are currently running a major programme of fieldwork to generate multidisciplinary data from a transect across West Africa spanning the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. The aWARE project (West Africa's Role in Recent human Evolution) is conducting work in Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Benin and Nigeria to recover new palaeoenvironmental proxies, palaeoanthropogical data and ancient DNA. Pan-Ev member Dr. James Blinkhorn is the Director of Fieldwork for this programme. Mr. Jacopo Cerasoni is conducting his doctoral research on hominin behaviours and environments of West Africa within the framework of the aWARE project. Dr. Emily Hallet, Pan-Ev's resident vertebrate palaeontologist is also conducting research on the human and fossil fauna recovered in the course of our excavations. We are also thrilled to welcome Dr. Eslem Ben Arous, who won a prestigious Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellowship, to join Pan-Ev to conduct geochronological work.
Ecological Niche Modelling
Dr. Emily Hallett is modelling the ecological niches of selected African species over the last 800,000 years to better understand shifts in habitat and link these to the movements of our hominin ancestors.
Adrian Timpson is our new postdoctoral research assistant in data science. Adrian is testing out hypotheses concerning hominin palaeodemography through simulation-based approaches.