This course is designed to introduce students to
current research and techniques in the field of human evolution. The topics covered
change each year to reflect current discoveries and/or the application
of new lines of analysis. The emphasis is on critical assessment of the
methodology employed in reaching conclusions about our evolutionary
past, as well as hands-on experience in some of these methods.
In addition to fully exploring recently discovered fossil material, examples of topics that would be expected to be covered might include (1) phylogenetic analysis from fossil material, (2) reconstruction of functional capabilities based on fossil and extant comparative material, (3) species recognition in the fossil record, and (4) behavioural reconstruction from skeletal material. Methods covered can include: applications of palaeoanthropologically relevant multivariate statistical techiques, laser surface scanning, dental microwear, cut-mark analysis, using CT scans of fossils, and basic geometric morphometric techniques. By the end of this course, students would expect to have a good understanding of the current research in the field of human evolution.
- 2 hour post-graduate seminar each week.