UCL Anthropology


ANTHGH02 - Advanced Human Evolution - Evolutionary Medicine

PG Seminar - Timetable

Gul Deniz Salali

Evolutionary thinking provides useful new insights into origins of diseases, contemporary health problems and has important applications to medical practice. This course will explore the use of evolutionary thinking in answering questions regarding human health. We will cover topics including human life history, evolution and reproductive health; evolutionary perspectives to mental health and mood disorders; nutrition and health; pathogens, hygiene hypothesis, cancer and auto-immune disorders. We will discuss questions and ideas, many of which are of public interest and hotly debated. A few examples include evolution of social behaviour and its implications on understanding mental health problems; hunter-gatherer diets, mismatch hypothesis and evolutionary theories on the increased prevalence of "diseases of affluence"; human microbiome and its effects on the immune system, mood and normal brain function; evolutionary conflicts between sexes, mate choice and diseases of pregnancy. The students will give presentations and lead discussions based on recent research literature and online research talks by experts.  The course will encourage students to gather and combine information from disciplines as diverse as evolutionary biology, anthropology, immunobiology, public health and psychology; actively participate in discussions; and develop their own ideas.