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

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
Christophe Soligo
Human Evolution and Behaviour
Archaeology and Anthropology
Work & Volunteer Experience
Senior Business Analyst
Capital One
Social Profiles
Account Details

Stay informed

Subscribe to our RSS newsletter by email.

Find Us

University College London is the administrative lead.

Pearson Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Follow us on Twitter