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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2016  /  May 2016  /  East Africa: The Cradle of Humanity

East Africa: The Cradle of Humanity

Mark Maslin on the environmental context of human evolution

East Africa: The Cradle of Humanity

The Centre for Quaternary Science and Geoarchaeology (QSGA) at Cologne University held its tenth annual colloquium in honour of Prof. Dr. Martin Schwarzbach on 29th April. The colloquium focused on how human evolution responded to environmental instability.

The invited speakers were Professor Mark Maslin, of UCL Geography, and Professor Rick Potts, Director of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program, National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC.

Mark's lecture, ‘The Cradle of Humanity: How the changing landscape of Africa made us smart’, explained current evidence that rapid oscillations between the presence and absence of deep-water lakes in East Africa were concurrent with major events in hominin evolution, leading to the dispersal out of Africa c. 1.8 million years ago.



Mark (2nd from Right); Rick Potts (1st Left)