ALLELE Lecturer to Discuss Ancient Man’s Relationship with Evolution

Dr. John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will visit The University of Alabama campus to give a lecture titled, “Neandertime: How Ancient Genomes are Transforming Our Past and Present” on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 127 of the Biology Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture is part of the Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE) lecture series.

Hawks studies ancient humans as found in fossil evidence around the world. In his lecture, Hawks will talk about his research that has uncovered the rapid genetic changes in humans during the past 10,000 years and the unique contribution of the genomes of Neanderthals and other ancient people to our origins and evolution.

Hawks is known as an international advocate for open science, which is a movement that aims to make all scientific research available to people at all levels, from amateur to professional. His blog ( has become a highly visible science communication resource with 2.5 million annual visits. Currently, he is part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute initiative to improve undergraduate biology education. He also serves on the advisory panel for a new Smithsonian-sponsored pilot project to bring human evolution into advanced biology education.

He received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Utah. While there, Hawks expanded his work into the field of genetics, and he has since become known for his ability to connect these different aspects of the evidence for human origins. His research has taken him to Africa, Europe, and most recently, Siberia.

While on campus, Hawks will be visiting anthropology classes and will also give a talk entitled, “Human Evolution During the Holocene” on Friday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. in Room 22 of ten Hoor Hall.