Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Linking human evolution and climate change

Date:
February 17, 2012
Source:
Simon Fraser University
Summary:
It's not a take on climate change we often hear about. But a professor of archaeology, will talk about how climate change impacts human evolution at the world’s largest science fair.

It's not a take on climate change we often hear about. But Mark Collard, a Simon Fraser University Canada Research Chair and professor of archaeology, will talk about how climate change impacts human evolution at the world's largest science fair.

The 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference runs Feb. 16 to 20 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver.

Collard will give a talk called Environmental drivers of technological evolution in small-scale populations during a seminar called Climate Change and Human Evolution: Problems and Prospects.

Collard will argue, "we need to better understand the ways that climate and related environmental variables have affected historically-documented small-scale societies before we can accurately track the impact of climate change on human evolution."

The director of SFU's Human Evolutionary Studies program, Collard will also present data that his research team is analyzing. Their research suggests environmental variation significantly influenced the number and intricacy of food-gathering tools that historical hunter-gatherers made.

"The basic pattern," explains Collard, "is that people living in harsh, risky environments, such as the Arctic, produced and used many more complex tools than people living in less harsh and risky environments, such as tropical rainforests. Food gathering tools make up a large part of known early archaeological records. So our findings are providing us with a way to track the impact of climate change on human evolution."

Collard can relate his findings to current thinking about the impact of climate change on the dispersal of modern humans globally and the evolution of their cultures during the last couple of hundred thousand years. Our species, Homo sapiens, evolved during that time period.

As a discussant in another seminar, Constructing a Human World Fit for Nature, Collard will look for common themes in six speakers' presentations. They will flesh out the research behind an evolutionary conundrum that is the central theme of this seminar.

The conundrum -- while evolution has enabled ancestral hominins (humans) to adapt well to diverse ecological niches, modern humans are now transforming local ecosystems and the global climate at the peril of their own existence.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Simon Fraser University. "Linking human evolution and climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145757.htm>.
Simon Fraser University. (2012, February 17). Linking human evolution and climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145757.htm
Simon Fraser University. "Linking human evolution and climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145757.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins