CHF 2013: Animal

Are We the Last Neanderthals?

Neanderthals fascinate us: so much like us, yet not quite us. We have long known that they overlapped with modern humans in prehistoric Europe, but recent genetic evidence suggests widespread interbreeding of the two groups. University of Wisconsin biological anthropologist John Hawks is at the forefront of this species-shaking research. He presents the latest findings from the lab and field and discusses what may or may not make us uniquely human.

This program is presented in partnership with the Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Images by Alissa Zhu

Speakers and Performers

John Hawks

John Hawks is an expert on human evolution and genetics, best known for his work demonstrating the recent rapid evolution of humans within the past 10,000 years; and for exploring the contribution of ancient Neanderthals to the ancestry of people living today. He has done fieldwork in Africa, Asia, and Europe, combining skeletal evidence from fossils with new information from genetics to uncover how humans evolved. His blog is one of the top international resources on human evolution and genetics. He is professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Who is John Hawks?
Autobiography at his official website and popular blog

Related Events

Human Evolution: Past and Future
Professor Hawks will be teaching a MOOC (massive open online course) beginning in January 2014

Good Reads

Return of the Neanderthals
National Geographic article on the possibilities of cloning our ancestors
Interbreeding With Neanderthals
Discover magazine article about our Neanderthal DNA

Online Resources

Neandertal Genome Sequence
The Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute generates the Neandertal genome sequence