W2 Professor and Lise Meitner Group Leader of the Pan African
Research Group, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Human Evolution in Structured Populations

I led this Wellcome Trust funded initiative, which involved a consortium of multidisciplinary researchers, working together to understanding Pleistocene population structure in Africa from the perspective of different sources of data (i.e., archaeology, palaeoanthropological, genetics, chronology, biogeography and palaeoecology). With a focus on separating data from inference, the consortium aimed to explore how past population structure confounds interpretations of the data critical to understanding human evolution, from human divergence times and past population size estimates to fossil and archaeological taxonomies. I was responsible for leading the consortium and coordinating scientific outputs. This work formed the foundation for the work being conducted by my Pan-Ev group, and also several partnership programmes. 

Members: Professor Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum), Professor Alison Brooks (George Washington University), Professor Mark Thomas (University College London), Dr Lounes Chikhi (University of Toulouse & Gulbenkian Science Institute), Dr Aylwyn Scally (University of Cambridge), Professor Richard Durbin (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), Dr Brenna Henn (Stony Brook), Dr Jess Thompson (Emory University), Dr Andrea Manica (University of Cambridge), Professor Peter de Menocal (Columbia University), Dr Jay Stock (University of Cambridge), Dr Huw Groucutt (University of Oxford), Dr Philipp Gunz (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology), Professor Philip Rightmire (Harvard University), Dr Laine Clark Balzan (Freiburg University), Professor Julia Lee Thorp (University of Oxford), Professor Robin Dennell (Exeter University), Francesco d’Errico (University of Bordeaux), Dr Christian Tryon (Harvard University).


Scerri, E.M.L., Thomas, M.G., Manica, A., Gunz, P., Stock, J., Stringer, C.B., Grove, M., Groucutt, H.S., Timmermann A., Rightmire, G.P., d’Errico, F., Tryon, C., Drake, N.A.,  Brooks, A., Dennell, R., Durbin, R., Henn, B., Lee-Thorpe, J., deMenocal, P., Petraglia, M.D., Thompson, J., A., Scally, A., Chikhi, L. Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, 582-594.