South Africa: How Human Diversity Evolved

Where did our incredible human diversity come from? Biological anthropologist Professor Rebecca Ackermann will explore this question on 14 August in her inaugural lecture, "The evolution of human diversity: The relative roles of chance, adaptation and ancient sex".

Ackermann asserts that human evolution has traditionally been portrayed as a branching tree where the success of a single lineage can be traced, ultimately leading to the evolution of our species, Homo sapiens, in Africa a few hundred thousand years ago. Other branches either go extinct before our species evolves, or soon after through replacement.

But how did this diversity evolve in such a short period? Or is this narrative incorrect? Ackermann's lecture engages with current research, including evidence from the fossil record, to provide perspectives on these and other issues.

The venue is Lecture Theatre 2, Kramer Law Building, Middle Campus. Guests should be seated by 17:15.

Please confirm your attendance online by 11 August.

For information, email cmdevents@uct.ac.za or phone 021 650 4847/4870.

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