Modern humans evolved in Africa and successfully colonised the globe only in the last 100,000 years or so, a feat made possible by cultural and genetic adaptation. Human habitats differ dramatically in climate, available foods or pathogens, and genetic adaptation was mediated both by mutation and by interbreeding with archaic humans such as Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Besides representing a mark of our past, these adaptations contribute to diversity in living people in traits such as skin colour and immune function.
A lecture by Dr Aida Andrés
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.