Reconstructing Human Evolutionary History
There is sound evidence that chimpanzees and bonobos are more closely related to modern humans than they are to gorillas, and there is less sound, but still good, evidence that modern humans shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos c.5-8 million years ago. So, there must have been at the minimum a sequence of ancestors and descendants providing a link between us and that common ancestor.

The task of reconstructing human evolutionary history is to recover and interpret fossil evidence that belongs to our (aka hominin) branch of the Tree of Life. Sorting out hominin fossil evidence from fossil evidence that belongs in adjacent closely related branches of the Tree of Life is a challenge. Even if you can do that, it is also challenging to sort ancestors from non-ancestral close relatives.

Some researchers stress how much we know about human evolutionary history. I will try and convince you that it is more helpful to err on the side of stressing how little we know.
Date: 20 January 2023, 13:00 (Friday, 1st week, Hilary 2023)
Venue: Sherrington Building, off Parks Road OX1 3PT
Venue Details: Blakemore Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Professor Bernard Wood (The George Washington University)
Organising department: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG)
Organisers: Dr Mootaz Salman (DPAG, University of Oxford), Dr Armin Lak (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Professor Zoltan Molnar (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Part of: DPAG Head of Department Seminar Series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Talitha Smith