Renowned Anthropologist to Discuss Human Origins at Susquehanna University
Published on November 6, 2012
Chris Stringer, Fellow of the Royal Society and world-renowned anthropologist, will discuss human evolution Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Susquehanna University’s Stretansky Concert Hall, in the Cunningham Center for Music and Art. His lecture, “The Origin of Our Species,” is free and open to the public.
A research leader in human origins at the Natural History Museum of London, Stringer will speak about the division of human evolution into two main phases: a pre-human phase in Africa more than 2 million years ago, where walking upright had evolved but many other characteristics were still essentially ape-like, and a human phase, with an increase in both brain size and behavioral complexity, and an expansion beyond Africa. Evidence points strongly to Africa as the major center for the genetic, physical and behavioral origins of both ancient and modern humans, but new discoveries are prompting a rethinking of some aspects of our evolutionary origins, including the likelihood of interbreeding between archaic humans (for example, the Neanderthals) and modern humans.
Stringer has received numerous awards, among them the 2011 Geological Society Coke Medal, the 2009 Zoological Society Frink Medal and the 2004 Rivers Memorial Medal. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and authored several books, including “Homo Britannicus” (2006), “The Complete World of Human Evolution” (2011, with Peter Andrews), and “Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth” (2012). Stringer’s groundbreaking research has introduced ideas surrounding the single-origin hypothesis theory, or the idea that modern humans have common origins in Africa, from where they emigrated within the last 100,000 years.
Stringer’s lecture is the latest in Susquehanna’s Claritas Distinguished Speaker in the Sciences Series, organized by the School of Arts and Sciences and funded by an endowment from alumni George E. and Margaret Lauver Harris. The series supports lectures, seminars or residencies by internationally recognized leaders to discuss topics in the public interest.
Karen M. Jones