The Evolution of Human Nutrition

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Dec 7, 2012 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Chairs:

Leslie Aiello, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (retired)
Margaret Schoeninger, University of California, San Diego

Tracing the evolution of the human diet from our earliest ancestors can lead to a better understanding of human adaptation in the past.  It may also offer clues to the origin of many health problems that we currently face, such as obesity and chronic disease.   The CARTA public symposium on "The Evolution of Human Nutrition" brought together scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore the diets of our ancestors.  What did early humans eat? Were the nutritional requirements and dietary needs of contemporary humans established in our prehistoric past?  At this symposium, a lively discussion took place about the changing diets of our ancestors - from australopith diets to current hunter-gatherer diets - and what role these dietary transitions played in the evolution of humans.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Media Session Speakers
File Welcome and Opening Remarks Margaret Schoeninger, University of California, San Diego
Ajit Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine
File Background and Overview Leslie Aiello, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (retired)
File Diets and Microbes in Primates Steven Leigh, University of Colorado, Boulder
File Current Hunter-Gatherer Diets Alyssa Crittenden, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
File Australopith Diets Peter Ungar, University of Arkansas
File Fire, Starch, Meat, and Honey Richard Wrangham, Harvard University
File Neanderthal Diets Alison Brooks, George Washington University
Margaret Schoeninger, University of California, San Diego
File Archaic Human Diets Mary Stiner, University of Arizona
File Agriculture's Impact on Human Evolution Clark Larsen, Ohio State University
File Impact of Globalization on Children's Nutrition Barry Bogin, Loughborough University
File Question and Answer Session and Closing Remarks Leslie Aiello, The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (retired)
Pascal Gagneux, University of California, San Diego
Margaret Schoeninger, University of California, San Diego