Exploring the Origins of Today's Humans

Event Dates: 
Feb 21, 2020 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Chairs:

Mark Collard, Simon Fraser University
Kristen Hawkes, University of Utah

Where did we humans come from? When did we become the dominant species on the planet? Available evidence indicates that all humans living today are derived from a relatively small population that arose in Africa beginning >200,000 years ago, spreading throughout Africa and eventually the rest of the planet. In the course of this diaspora, we mated with other human-like species and assimilated some of their DNA, but eventually replaced all of these other close evolutionary cousins, without exception – leaving only one human species today. A flood of new information from Ancient DNA, Fossils, Archeology and Population Studies calls us to revisit the matter, summarizing knowledge and updating conclusions since the last CARTA symposium on the subject six years ago.


The Event Program, Speaker Biographical Sketches and Abstracts are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Please note that the parking situation near the Salk Institute has continued to change due to area construction over the last two years. There is NO public parking available on the premises; however, there are some free (hosted by CARTA) and other options available in the area.

You can find a downloadable Map with Parking Tips below. 
Parking notes:  Directly across the street from Salk Institute, to the north, there are two parking lots.  1) Lot #385 at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.  In this lot, CARTA will have 40 reserved (free) spaces in an area marked as "Event Parking."  Once these spaces fill up, guests will need to either pay for parking (the pay machine is located near the stairs) or find another parking area. 2) UCSD Lot #386, directly north of the northeast Salk building.  An attendant will be on hand to give out free parking permits starting at 12:00 (until 1:00 or until spaces are gone), but we don't know how many spaces will be available. For both of the above areas, see directional signage to guide you where to turn.

If you require handicap parking, the closest parking will be at the Sanford Consortium Parking lot across the street, found on the Parking Map. There is a drop-off area outside the Salk Institute main entrance, as indicated on the Downloadable Drop-Off Map below.

Carpooling and use of public transportation or a Rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft, are strongly encouraged, along with early arrival.

Prefer to take the bus? The North County Transit District (NCTD) Bus #101 has stops directly in front of the Salk Institute, as indicated on the Parking Map in blue. You can find the #101 bus schedule here. You can also plan your bus trip to the Salk Institute by using the SD Metropolitan Transit System Planner tool at https://www.sdmts.com/schedules-real-time/trip-planner

Please note that we expect a full crowd for this event. A seat in the auditorium is NOT guaranteed, even if you are registered. The talks will also be broadcast on a large screen in the lobby adjacent to the auditorium. We recommend early arrival to secure parking and a seat.

Event Sessions

Event Glossary

A glossary for this event is available as a Searchable List and a PDF icon PDF.