Human Evolution Past, Present & Future – Anthropological, Medical & Nutritional Considerations


This two-day symposium explored new research and evidence which suggests that at some stage during the last few million years, our human ancestors were exposed to a period of semiaquatic evolution which led to the acquisition of unique and primordial human characteristics. 

The entire conference is now available to watch online. You can purchase access to the presentations from both days for £20, or to individual sessions for £4 each.

Booklets from the conference are also available for sale for £20. These bound books contain information on all the talks given on the day, including abstracts and PowerPoint presentations.

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Event information

Date Wednesday 8 May 2013 to
Friday 10 May 2013
Time 17:00 - 18:00
Event type Conferences
Price £20 - booklet

Watch the event videos online

To purchase access to these videos simply click here and you will be asked to enter credit card details. Three of the videos can be watched for free, including the Day 1 tribute to Prof. Phillip Tobias and Sir David Attenborough's Day 2 introduction.

Details of the sessions can be found below:

Programme and presentation videos

Day 1 – Origins of the Naked Ape
Session 1
Hominin Evolution Revisited (A tribute to Prof. Phillip Tobias) – FREE
Michael Crawford
Human Evolution and Migration and the Roles of Water Bodies
Stephen Oppenheimer
Why neither the Savannah nor the Aquatic Hypotheses holds Water
John Langdon
Coastal adaptations, complex topography, and submerged landscapes: an archaeological perspective on human dispersal
Geoff Bailey
The Palaeoecology of Human Evolution
Stephen Munro
Session 2
Coastal Migration of Land-Based Mammals
Javier Caraveo-Patiño
The Wading Hypothesis and the Evolution of Human Bipedality
Algis Kuliukas
Homo litoralis: Pleistocene Diaspora along Coasts and Rivers
Marc Verhaegen
Specialisations for Diving Animal Species
Andreas Fahlman
Session 3
Lucy, the Australopithecines and Early Bipedal Apes
Donald Johanson
Exploitation of Environmental Resources
Leigh Broadhurst
Neanderthals and their Demise
Clive Finlayson
Evidence from the Seabed for Hominin Occupation of the Coastal Zones throughout the last Million Years
Nic Flemming
Session 4
African Origins and Human Dispersals
Martha Lahr
Happisburgh and European Coastal Settlements
Nick Ashton
The Archaeology of Multiple Hominin Dispersals across Southern Asia
Michael Petraglia
Who were the First Americans?
Dennis Stanford

Day 2 – The Scars of Evolution
Session 1
Introduction – FREE
Sir David Attenborough
Nature’s Great Experiment: The Evolution and Development of the Human Larynx
Jeffrey Laitman
Human Breath-Hold Diving Ability
Erika Schagatay
The Origin of Speech
Marc Verhaegen & Mario Vaneechoutte
The Darwinian Evolution of Speech – From Near Incipient Vernaculars to Modern Languages
Bernard Bichakjian
Aural Exostoses Provide Hard Evidence of Man’s Aquatic Past
Peter Rhys-Evans
Session 2
Unique Homo Characteristics – Are they Compatible with a Semi-Aquatic Past?
Mario Vaneechoutte
Aquatic Reflexes in Newborn Humans
Dirk Meijers
Dental Micro-wear and Diet: the Role of Geographic and Cultural Contexts in Human Evolution
Pierre-François Puech
Visual Adaptations to Aquatic Lifestyle
Erik Abrahamsson
Sara Campbell, world Champion in Deep Diving after 9 Months of Training-How is this Possible?
Ario Johansen
Session 3
Pregnancy and Neonates
Michel Odent
Survival of the Fattest
Stephen Cunnane
Aquatic Foods and Fuelling the Hominin Brain
Kathlyn Stewart
Human Brain Changes Resulting From the Aquatic Phase in Human History
Brunetto Chiarelli
Session 4
The Global Crisis in Nutrition and Mental Ill Health
Michael Crawford
Environment, Nutrition and Cancer Dame
Valerie Beral
Poverty and Global Nutrition Crisis
Sir Kenneth Stuart
Poster Award Ceremony and Closing Remarks– FREE

Contact for further details

Education and Conference Centre
Tel: 020 7808 2921 or 020 7808 2924

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Accreditations Royal Marsden Crest