Dan Lieberman and Evan Hadingham discuss the thrilling stories behind some of the most important human origins discoveries ever made.
New York, NY
April 6, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Evolutionary biologists argue that no study of human health or evolution is complete without considering the trillions of microbes that live in us or on us—our microbiome. Join molecular anthropologist Christina Warinner as she explores how scientists are reconstructing the ancestral human microbiome to better understand the lives and health of our ancestors and whether the popular “paleo” diet has any relation to real human history.
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Christina Warinner earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010 and received her postdoctoral training at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2014 she is a presidential research professor and assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, where she is pioneering the study of the ancestral human microbiome. In 2014, she published the first detailed characterization of ancient oral bacteria, and in 2015 she published a seminal study on the identification of milk proteins in ancient dental calculus and the reconstruction of prehistoric European dairying practices. In the same year, she also was part of a large team that published the first South American hunter-gatherer gut microbiome and identified Treponema as a key missing ancestral microbe in industrialized societies. Her findings were named among the top 100 scientific discoveries of 2014 by Discover Magazine, and her research has been featured in more than 75 news articles, including stories in Science, Scientific American, the LA Times, the Guardian, and CNN among others. She has been featured in multiple documentaries, and her current work on ancient Nepal appears in the award-winning children’s book Secrets of the Sky Caves. She was awarded a US National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellowship in 2014 and a TED Fellowship in 2012. Her TED Talks on ancient dental calculus and the evolution of the human diet have been viewed more than 1.5 million times.