The Human Niche Series

The project

This project was an initiative of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2020-2021. For further information, please contact Prof Nicole Boivin.


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


August 4, 2021 in Domestication, Evolution, Human Niche

Conversation with behavioural scientist – Juliane Bräuer

New scientific studies actually show that dogs understand a lot about us humans. But do dogs also understand our emotions? Can they grasp causal relationships? And how does it actually work the other way round? What fascinates us humans about…
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July 16, 2021 in Climate, Evolution, Human Niche

Prof Andrea Manica: The impact of climate on the Human Niche through time

Professor Andrea Manica began his studies in the Zoology Department at Cambridge University, and is now the leader of the Cambridge Evolutionary Ecology Research Group.
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June 22, 2021 in Economics, Human Niche, Psychology

Conversation with Associate Professor of Economic Psychology – Michael Muthukrishna

Michael Muthukrishna's research focuses on answering three broad questions: (1) Why are humans so different to other animals? (2) What are the psychological and evolutionary processes that underlie culture and social change, and how is information transmitted, maintained, and modified?…
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June 11, 2021 in Human Evolution, Human Niche, Science Communication

Conversation with science writer – Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer is a popular science writer and columnist, who reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life.Discussing “The Past, Present and Future of the Human Niche” can lead us to some very detailed…
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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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