[SydPhil] Grandmothers and Human Evolution - August 15th

Paul Griffiths paul.griffiths at sydney.edu.au
Mon Aug 1 12:19:22 AEST 2016

Sydney Ideas - Grandmothers and Human Evolution

15 August 2016 6.00-7.30

Grandmothers and Human Evolution

Professor Kristen Hawkes, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah

Co-presented with the School of Mathematics and Statistics<http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/About/> in the Faculty of Science

A Sydney Science Festival<http://https://sydneyscience.com.au/#/> event for National Science Week<http://www.scienceweek.net.au/>

The Grandmother Hypothesis aims to explain why increased longevity evolved in humans, while female fertility still ends at the same age it does in our closest evolutionary cousins, the great apes. Beginning with ethnographic surprises that drew us to pay attention to grandmothering in the first place, Kristen Hawkes will show how, in addition to human life history, grandmothering can help explain the precocious sociality of human infants and our distinctive appetite for mutual understanding as well as patterns of male competition and pair bonding.

Crucial evidence about human evolution continues to come from the expanding fossil and archaeological records, paleoecology, and increasingly genomics. But comparisons between us and our primate cousins, coupled with formal modelling by Peter Kim and his mathematical biology group at the University of Sydney, are proving to be an especially valuable way to explore evolutionary connections between grandmothering and an array of distinctive human features.

Professor Kristen Hawkes is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. Her principal research interests are evolutionary ecology of hunter-gatherers and human evolution. She is a member of the Scientific Executive Committee of the Leakey Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the US National Academy of Sciences. University website<http://faculty.utah.edu/u0030555-KRISTEN_HAWKES/research/index.hml>

Register here http://whatson.sydney.edu.au/events/published/sydney-ideas-professor-kristen-hawke
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