Joining cultural and biological approaches to uncover African diversity
Dates: from May 22nd to May 25th 2019
The International Conference, “Africa, the cradle of human diversity”, will explore crucial chapters of past and recent African history from a cross-disciplinary perspective. The conference will cover an extensive time range in human evolution, starting with the evolution of early humans in Africa to the complex cultural and genetic diversity of modern-day African populations. Recent demographic events including mass migrations within and between the major regions in the continent, African islands, and beyond have shaped the genetic makeup across Africa and the rest of the world. Examples of these recent large scale events are the expansion of Bantu-speaking farmers, Indian Ocean trade-networks and one of the darkest chapters in human history, the transatlantic slave trade. The conference will assemble leading researchers from different fields to present and discuss state-of-the-art approaches to address long-standing questions about past and present human diversity in Africa. These questions include modern human origins in Africa, the history of farming expansions, adaptation to new environments and cultural transitions. Conference contributions will span the fields of paleoanthropology, paleogenomics, evolutionary genetics, biological anthropology, archaeology, historical linguistics, and population genetics. The overarching goal of the conference is to assemble experts with multidisciplinary thinking to collaborate in new cross-bridging initiatives to study human diversity across Africa.