Selected Events

George Monbiot is an author, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner. His best-selling books include Feral: Rewilding the land, sea and human life and Heat: how to stop the planet burning; his latest is Out of the Wreckage: a new politics for an age of crisis. George co-wrote the concept album Breaking the Spell of Loneliness with musician Ewan McLennan, and has made a number of viral videos. One of them, adapted from his 2013 TED talk, How Wolves Change Rivers, has been viewed on YouTube over 40m times. Another, on Natural Climate Solutions, that he co-presented with Greta Thunberg, has been watched over 60m times. George is working on a new book, to be published in 2022, about how to feed the world without devouring the planet. [more]

Lecture by Prof Martine Robbeets: “Is Japanese made-in-China? Language, culture and genes”

Part of the Abralin ao Vivo – Linguists Online lecture series
The origins of the Japanese language are among the most disputed issues of historical linguistics. In this talk, Prof Robbeets presents evidence for Transeurasian affiliation, relating Japanese to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic languages. This classification gives rise to new questions with regard to the location of the original homeland, the dating and the early dispersals of Transeurasian languages. She addresses these through ‘triangulating’ genetics, archaeology and linguistics in a unified perspective, among others presenting the first whole-genome analyses of ancient DNA for the Korean Peninsula and the Southern Ryukyus. By combining evidence from the three disciplines, Prof Robbeets shows that the spread of Japanese to the Japanese Islands was driven by agriculture. [more]

Landscape changes in Late Holocene West Africa – the human factor

Rainforest Redux - Virtual Seminar Series 2020-2021 - Seminar 8
Anthropologists have a long history of applying concepts from evolutionary biology to cultural evolution. Evolutionary biologists, however, have been slow to turn to anthropology for insights about evolution. Recently evolutionary biology has been engaged in a debate over the need to revise evolutionary theory to account for developments made in the sixty years since the Modern Synthesis, the standard evolutionary paradigm, was framed. Anthropology has much to offer to this debate. This lecture explores how the domestication of plants and animals provides an ideal model system for evaluating central EES tenets about directionality, causality, targets of selection, modes of inheritance, and pace of evolution. [more]
Today we live longer and more prosperous lives than ever before. The construction of the Human Niche has made huge advances possible, and created better health conditions for billions of people. But this progress is taking a heavy toll on the planet's natural systems. Prof Jones will explore the links and inter-dependencies between our health and the health of our planet with particular reference to understanding how rapid global environmental change impacts the emergence and spread of high impact infectious diseases like Ebola or Covid. She will discuss how recent advances in the resolution and coverage of remote-sensing satellite data and cutting-edge machine-learning algorithms open up the possibilities of developing global early warning systems to prevent and manage future epidemics. [more]

Anthropogenic environments of the rainforest: a case study from Amazonia

Rainforest Redux - Virtual Seminar Series 2020-2021 - Seminar 7
For tens of millions of years until the last 10,-50,000 years, ecosystems throughout the globe harbored rich assemblages of large and very large animals (megafauna). Prof Svenning will outline the strong global evidence that the near-global down-sizing of faunas in the late-Quaternary represents the first human transformation of the biosphere, and the ecological consequences and the implications for ecosystem restoration in the Anthropocene. [more]

Diversity and stability in contemporary forager-farmer relations in the Congo Basin: Inferring the BaYaka’s past

Rainforest Redux - Virtual Seminar Series 2020-2021 - Seminar 6
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