Tales of human history told by Neandertal and Denisovan DNA that persist in modern humans

Session Date: 
Feb 21, 2020
Speakers: 

It has become well known over the past few years that as anatomically modern humans dispersed out of Africa, they encountered and mated with other hominins such as Neandertals and Denisovans. The ability to identify and excavate extinct hominin DNA from the genomes of contemporary individuals reveals considerable information about human history and how encounters with Neandertals and Denisovans shaped the trajectory of human evolution. I will show how catalogs of surviving hominin lineages reveal insights into the positive and negative fitness consequences of hybridization, that gene flow was widespread in both time and geography, and present new evidence of an early out-of-Africa dispersal of modern humans that led to detectable introgression in Neandertal populations.