Daniel Haun

Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

At the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology Daniel combines approaches from developmental, cross-cultural and comparative psychology, to study uniquely human cultural diversity and the universal cognitive mechanisms that enable and constrain it.

He studies the interaction between culture and mind by comparing people from different social and physical environments around the world. Second, he investigates the developmental processes that lead to similarities and differences in human behavior by studying children’s early development cross-culturally. And third, he studies the uniquely human aspects of these developmental processes by comparing the development of human infants with the early development in other, non-human great apes species.

Kathelijne Koops

University Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge


I obtained my MSc in Biology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands before attending the University of Cambridge, where I completed my PhD in Biological Anthropology in 2011. Subsequently, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Homerton College and a Post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge. In 2014 I took up a Post-doctoral research position in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.


From January 2020, I will be a University Lecturer in Primatology in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. My research applies an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the evolution of tool use. Complex technology is a defining trait of our species. Human technological innovations have reshaped our planet and changed the impact of evolutionary forces upon our lives. Despite the enormous significance of human technology, the evolutionary origin of this complex use of tools is not well understood. By studying humans’ closest living relatives, the great apes, I hope to identify the processes driving the use of technology across ape species and, in turn, shed light on What makes us human?

Tomas Marques-Bonet

Professor at the Comparative Genomics Lab, Pompeu Fabra University 

Dr. Marques-Bonet is the Principal Investigator of the group "Comparative Genomics" and director of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona. In 2011 he obtained the competitive ERC Starting Grant 2010 and in 2013, he was also selected for the EMBO young Investigator award. He is now a Howard Hugues Medical Institution (HHMI) Early International Carreer Award (2017) and in 2019 he was awarded with an ERC Consolidator grant on 2019. His group is now formed by 6 PhD students and 4 postdocs whose work is focused on population genomics of primates, characterizing human specific genomics features using comparative genomics and the evolution of epigenetics and gene regulation in humans and primates. He has published over 20 manuscripts with senior authorship in journals such as Nature, Science, Genome Research, Plos Genetics, NAR or Genome Biology. 

In this talk, he will discuss how advances in sequencing technologies have expanded our knowledge in population structure, phylogeny and adaptation of great apes by analyzing hundreds of wild born individuals. His group is working to provide a better understanding on the demographic patterns that shapes the diversity of these species. He will also present the most novel findings for the genomic application of challenging samples to population genetics and conservation purposes both in situ and ex situ.

Sarah Wolfensohn

Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Surrey

Sarah’s first degree in was in Physiology from University College London, she then read Veterinary Medicine at Churchill College, Cambridge.  She spent a number of years in general practice, both small animal and mixed, first as an assistant, then a partner, during which time the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 arrived.  While still in general practice, she became Named Veterinary Surgeon for a number of small pharmaceutical and biotech companies in her local area.  She was Head of Veterinary Services at the University of Oxford for nearly 20 years, leaving there in 2010.  She is now Professor of Animal Welfare at the veterinary school at the University of Surrey and also runs an independent consultancy on animal health and welfare, ‘Seventeen Eighty Nine’. She holds the Diploma of the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and the Diploma of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine, and is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Laboratory Animal Science.  She has published textbooks and a numerous papers in the area of laboratory animal science and welfare, won the 2002 GSK Laboratory Animal Welfare prize for work on housing and husbandry of large primates used in research, won the 2010 EPAA communication prize and was awarded an OBE for services to animal welfare in 2012.  She has served on a number of UK and International committees and working groups to develop refinements to animal use and improve welfare.

Elise Huchard

Researcher at the ​Institute of Evolutionary Sciences (CNRS), University of Montpellier II 

I am interested in the evolution of mammalian social and mating systems. At the interface between sexual and kin selection, a major axis of my work explores the causes and consequences of reproductive, social and life history strategies in mammalian societies using observational and experimental data, mostly in the context of long-term, individually-based studies in natural populations. I occasionally use comparative approaches, quantitative genetics or modelling, and have used as main models polygynandrous primates (baboons, lemurs, mandrills) as well as cooperative breeding carnivores (meerkats). Much of my work has focussed on the evolution of sexual signalling, mate choice, parental care, and sexual conflict. My main current lines of research include the study of social determinants on the evolution of reproductive seasonality, and reproductive conflict including the evolution of sexual coercion, parent-offspring conflict, female-female reproductive competition and strategies of conflict management.