Monday, August 31, 2020
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School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK
Greger Larson received his bachelor’s degree in 1996 from Claremont McKenna College, a small liberal arts college in California. He read just about everything Stephen J Gould ever wrote over the following three years while he wandered the deserts of Turkmenistan and worked for an environmental consultancy in Azerbaijan. Deciding that evolution was cooler than oil, Greger studied at Oxford and the University of Colorado before receiving his PhD in Zoology in 2006. He then spent two years in Uppsala, Sweden on an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship before starting a job in the department of archaeology at Durham University. Greger then moved to Oxford University to become the Director of the Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network Greger where he is continuing his focus on the use of ancient DNA to study the pattern and process of domestication. He rarely wonders what his salary would be had he stuck to oil.cesses.
It is fair to say that human reliance on domestic plants and animals facilitated the rise of complex societies, and these relationships sustain modern global human populations. Understanding the origins of domestication is therefore crucial to understanding our own social, demographic, and evolutionary trajectories over at least the last 10,000 years. Recent insights from both theoretical perspectives and a wide range of newly emerging empirical techniques have begun to unpick the complex origins of domestication, though many urban myths that describe how humans, plants, and animals all started this romanic dance remain attractive to both scholars and the lay public. In this talk I’ll discuss both why many common misunderstandings persist, alongside new insights into the pattern and process of genetic change within domestic populations (with a heavy emphasis on dogs) that have been fostered by newly emerging ancient DNA datasets.
Gabriella Lindgren Gabriella.Lindgren@slu.se
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