The Human Niche Series

The project

This project is an initiative to explore a new strategic vision for the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


Prof Nicole Boivin

Nicole Boivin’s archaeological research is interdisciplinary …

Prof Richard Wrangham

Richard Wrangham has been at the forefront of primatology …

Dr Yoshi Maezumi

Dr Yoshi Maezumi is a Marie Curie Fellow and …

Prof Greger Larson

One of evolutionary science’s most exciting and inspiring voices …

Dr Robert N. Spengler

Director of the Paleoethnobotany Laboratories …

Emma Marris

Environmental writer and an Institute Fellow …

Dr Patrick Roberts

Director of the Stable Isotope Laboratory

Prof Kevin N. Laland

Professor of Behavioural and Evolutionary Biology


May 7, 2021 in Anthropology, Human Niche

Conversation with Professor of Anthropology – Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes, Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, is an uncompromising champion of the complexity of Human Niche construction. Scientists alert to complexity in this way are often those who prefer to look at the fine detail of our world…
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April 15, 2021 in Anthropology, Domestication, Human Evolution

A response by Dr Laurel Fogarty following Prof Melinda Zeder’s lecture

In her wide-ranging and fascinating talk ‘Why Evolutionary Biology Needs Anthropology’, Dr. Melinda Zeder made a compelling argument that most (or all?) processes that are central to the extended evolutionary synthesis are present in human-domesticate relationships.
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March 19, 2021 in Anthropology, Evolution, Human Niche

Prof Melinda Zeder: Why Evolutionary Biology needs Anthropology

Anthropologists have a long history of applying concepts from evolutionary biology to cultural evolution. Evolutionary biologists, however, have been slow to turn to anthropology for insights about evolution.
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March 10, 2021 in Human Niche, Niche Construction, Technology

Conversation with Assoc Prof Susana Carvalho – will humans survive because of technology, or despite it?

Exploring the construction of the Human Niche requires scholars to do inter-disciplinary work. This is a complex subject, with many facets, needing many different sources of light for illumination.In our latest conversation, we spoke with Susana Carvalho, Associate Professor of…
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March 4, 2021 in Epidemics, Human Niche, Infectious Diseases

Prof Kate Jones: Our Planet, Our Health – Ecosystem approaches to forecasting zoonotic diseases

Kate Jones is Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London and Director of the Nature-Smart Centre in the Institute of Future Living.Prof Jones will explore the links and inter-dependencies between our health and the health of our planet…
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March 3, 2021 in Anthropocene, Human Niche, Paleoecology

An exchange following Prof Svenning’s lecture with Dr Matthew Stewart

In his recent lecture titled “Late-Quaternary megafauna extinctions—the onset of human transformation of the biosphere,” Jens-Christian Svenning presented an informative and insightful look at the ideas surrounding the human role in the late Quaternary megafauna extinctions.
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Program 2021

20may3:00 pm4:30 pmGeorge MonbiotJoin in Thursday, May 20 at 3pm CET for an online lecture/Q&A with George Monbiot titled “Where do the nutrients come from? - Fertilising crops without poisoning the planet.”Register

Coming up

Andrew Hendry
Carl Zimmer