The Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny* (CARTA) began as a collaboration between faculty at UC San Diego and at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, along with interested scientists at other institutions. CARTA became a UC San Diego recognized Organized Research Unit (ORU) in January 2008.

As the word anthropogeny implies, the primary goal of CARTA is to “explore and explain the origins of the human phenomenon.” In other words, finding the answers to the two age-old questions regarding humans:

  • Where did we come from?
  • How did we get here?

CARTA is a virtual organization formed in order to promote transdisciplinary research into human origins, drawing on methods from a number of traditional disciplines spanning the humanities, social, biomedical, biological, computational & engineering and physical & chemical sciences.

*Anthropogeny: The investigation of the origin of man (humans) Oxford English Dictionary, 2006. First used in 1839 edition of Hooper's Med. Dict. and defined as "the study of the generation of man."

CARTA Brochure

Interested in learning more about CARTA? We invite you to download the CARTA brochure, which provides a concise overview of CARTA's mission and educational programs.


CARTA Brochure Download and print the 2015 CARTA symposium schedule. We invite you to join us as we continue to explore the origin of humans and the implications for the past, present and future of our species.


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