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Michael
Hanks
Michael Hanks
2015
Evolution and Adaptation
Human evolution, life history theory, cognitive evolution, evolution of cooperation.
PhD Research

A model for human evolution in Europe

Multiple models have been proposed for the colonisation of Eurasia by Homo sapiens. With new fossil evidence challenging previous claims, it is important that we can create new frameworks to test new and existing theories for the pattern and timing of migrations out of Africa. This project proposes to utilise cutting-edge methods in phylogenetic inference with the largest dataset of dental characteristics ever assembled for such a purpose to create such a framework. Teeth offer us an ideal opportunity to build such a framework for two reasons: 1. Being the hardest substance in the human body, they are also the most commonly preserved in the fossil record, providing us with a wide range of evidence, both spatially and temporally. 2. Variation in dental morphology is highly heritable making it suitable for establishing phylogenetic relationships between different populations. With the framework in place different models of human migration patterns can be assessed for their fit to the data, allowing us to compare the likelihoods of these models directly. This will bring resolution to questions such as: Were multiple migrations out of Africa responsible for the population of Europe and Asia, or was there a single migration? Did climate change in the Pleistocene affect migrations, through cutting off access between continents at certain times, or creating shifting patterns of refugia and expansions?
Maria Martinon-Torres
UCL
Christophe Soligo
UCL
Education
MSc
Human Evolution and Behaviour
UCL
BA
Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge
Work Experience
Senior Business Analyst
Capital One
Publications
Other
Social Profiles
Account Details
michael.hanks.15@ucl.ac.uk

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