Grandmothers and Human Evolution

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Grandmothers contribute to our big brains, obsession with reputations, and the cultural construction of our daily lives. Evolutionary anthropologist Dr. Kristen Hawkes will share her research that shows that grandmothers are not only vital to child rearing and cooperation, but also to forming interdependent economies.

$18

Homo naledi and the Chamber of Secrets

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

In this lecture, paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva will discuss what we know about the new early human species Homo naledi and how its discovery is not only changing science, but how we define “human.”

$10 – $18

Family Class: Skin We Are In

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Join anthropologist Nina Jablonski for an exploration of the science behind skin color. Jablonski will discuss the history of skin and its meaning. She will also read from her new book Skin We Are In.

Free with admission to the Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Evolution and Meanings of Human Skin Color

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

In this lecture, Nina Jablonski will discuss the evolution of human skin color and how color-based race concepts have influenced societies and social well-being.

$10 – $18

What Makes Us Human? Lessons from the Study of Wild Chimpanzees

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

In this talk, John Mitani will discuss how his 23-year study of an unusually large community of chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda, challenges our notions of what makes us human. Studies of the Ngogo chimpanzees indicate that the gap between them and us may be smaller than previously thought.

$18

Rewriting Modern Human Origins: Insights from New Discovery in Morocco

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

In this talk Dr. Shara Bailey will discuss her work on the newly discovered 300,000 year old Homo sapiens fossils in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. The fossils show that by about 300,000 years ago, important changes in our biology and behavior and are reshaping our understanding of how we evolved.

$18

Nutrition in Wild Orangutans: Insights into Human Health

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Primate dietary ecologist Dr. Erin Vogel will discuss how information from diet, behavior, and physiology can help us understand how orangutans are adapted for survival in Borneo’s forests and shed light on the current obesity epidemic in modern day humans.

$18

More than Genes: Predators, Parasites and Partners of the Human Body

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

We evolved in a wilderness of parasites, mutualists, and pathogens, but we no longer see ourselves as being part of nature and the broader community of life. In the name of progress and clean living, we scrub much of nature off our bodies; however, a host of species still cling to us and always will. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Join biologist and author Robert Dunn as we explore the influence these wild species have on our well-being and the world.

$18

Tracking a Killer: The Origin and Evolution of Tuberculosis

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

In 2014, Tuberculosis (TB) surpassed HIV as the leading cause of death from infectious disease. Unlike HIV, TB has long been a scourge of humans; however, exactly how long has been debated. Also controversial has been the presence and relationship of pre-Columbian tuberculosis in the Americas to TB strains in the rest of the World. […]

$18

The Fastest Evolving Regions of the Human Genome

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Although a child can tell the difference between a chimp and a man, identifying the specific DNA mutations that make us human is one of the greatest challenges of biology. The genomic sequence is approximately 3 billion letters long, with millions of mutations and rearrangements specific to humans. Using computational algorithms to compare our DNA […]

$18

Medicine Without Evolution is like Engineering Without Physics

The Houston Museum of Natural Science 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX

Evolutionary medicine uses the basic science of evolutionary biology to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of disease. Instead of just asking how the body works and why it goes awry, it also asks why natural selection left us with so many traits like wisdom teeth and the narrow birth canal that leave us vulnerable […]

$18