Adam Powell (Department of Genetics, University College London)
Abstract. My research aims to provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary account of human evolutionary history, with a particular focus on understanding how demographic processes have affected genetic and cultural variation. I employ – and develop – methods from population genetics, cultural evolution and gene-culture coevolution, and use statistical tools (such as approximate Bayesian computation) that integrate modern and ancient genetic data with cultural data. In this talk I present work from my PhD on the emergence of modern human behaviour during the Late Pleistocene, the gene-culture coevolution of lactase persistence and dairy-farming in Neolithic Europe, and the domestication of cattle. I then outline my current work on developing a spatially-explicit gene-culture simulation package, which aims to tie all these methods into a single integrated framework.