Modeling Human Dispersal

Online seminar by Axel Timmermann from IBS Center for Climate Physics

24 March 2021
KST 10:00 – 11:00

Join us online:

The genus homo started about 3-2.5 million years ago – likely in the savannas of Eastern Africa. Over the following 2 million years further speciation events occurred and some groups, such Homo Erectus, Homo Heidelbergensis, Neanderthals, and Denisovans even settled in the extratropical regions of Eurasia. It has long been speculated that past orbitally-triggered climate shifts may have played an important role in the dispersal and speciation of our ancestors. In this seminar I will give an overview of different numerical modeling techniques that enable us to quantify the effect of past climate changes on human dispersal, evolution and diversification. The modeling techniques can be broadly distinguished into agent-based models, density-based ecosystem models and statistical climate envelope or habitat models, each of them with their own advantages and disadvantages. My presentation will highlight recent applications of these approaches addressing questions regarding multi-wave dispersals, predator-prey dynamics, the demise of the Neanderthals, megafauna extinctions – kill versus chill.  

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