Synapse Seminar: Unravelling human history with ancient DNA

Ancient DNA (aDNA) provides a unique window into our past, often revealing novel and unexpected results.


There is much current interest in the sciences and humanities in creating research and training programs that span conventional disciplinary boundaries to answer questions that require new insights of a holistic nature and especially to address ‘wicked’ problems that defy simple solutions. Building multidisciplinary teams is relatively straightforward, but forming teams that share a genuinely trans-disciplinary mindset poses a number of significant practical challenges.

SYNAPSE The CHL trans-disciplinary seminar: Signal and Process: reconstructing language histories in Melanesia

Historical linguistics and the reconstruction of language histories have long played a pivotal role in the cross-disciplinary comprehension of the human past in Oceania.

SYNAPSE CHL trans-disciplinary seminar: The Dynamics of Language Diversity

While the field of linguistics knows an increasing amount about the nature of linguistic diversity, we still have no more than a basic understanding of its causes. Why are there such radical differences, across the globe, in the distribution of linguistic diversity – whether measured in numbers of languages, of language families, or of typological variability? While many partial explanations have been proposed, at all levels from environmental (rainfall) to language practice (how ideologies of minor language

Genetics and Geography: Using genomic data to infer fine-scale population structure and population history

Associate Professor Leslie from Melbourne Integrative Genomics University of Melbourne, will present some of the findings from the People of the British Isles project, which was published in Nature in March 2015 (and featured on the cover), and some more recent work following on from this study. In particular he will show that using newly developed statistical techniques one can uncover subtle genetic differences between people from different regions at a hitherto unprecedented level of detail.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster