The symposium is jointly organized by ROCEEH (The Role of Culture
in Early Human Expansions, Research Unit of the Heidelberg Academy
of Sciences) and BiKF (Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Frankfurt).

Review: Human Expansions and Global Change in the Pleistocene 16.11.2009-18.11.2009

Please click here for the press release (in german).

Global climate change and its consequences for the world we inhabit today vividly illustrate the interconnected relationship that exists between humans and their environment.

Human existence and survival critically rely on the preservation of those environmental conditions with which we are familiar. More than a million years ago, humans depended on their environment to an even greater extent. Early humans responded to a changing environment by shifting their distribution range and adapting to new conditions in ways that any other biological species would. Early human distribution patterns, therefore, reflect changes in the habitats of humans. The fields of paleogeography, paleobotany, and paleontology presently make use of a variety of organisms and abiotic features to serve as proxies in reconstructing change in the climate, landscapes and ecology of early human habitats. As the range of approaches continues to grow, it is important to evaluate methods, explore synergies and alternatives and establish connections among them. By organizing a symposium on “Human Expansions and Global Change in the Pleistocene” we intend to focus on various methods to assess natural features of human habitats and the potential links between, and synergies among, the methods which researchers use to characterize them.

Furthermore, we intend to collect and relate the different datasets associated with human expansions in a new data base. The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD) will integrate information about early human environments, as well as data on cultural developments. The intend of ROAD is to identify new relationships between early humans and their natural and cultural environments. During the symposium we will introduce a concept for ROAD and discuss it. Moreover, we will raise specific questions related to database implementation, visualization and management in large interdisciplinary research projects.

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Click here to download the program as a pdf.