29th Annual Connell Lecture Held Jan. 24

January 9, 2011

29th Annual Connell Lecture Held Jan. 24


VALDOSTA -- The Department of Biology will host the 29th Annual Connell Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, in Whitehead Auditorium.

Held in honor of the late Dr. C. Eugene Connell, this year’s event will feature Dr. Trenton W. Holliday, associate professor of anthropology at Tulane University, who is a highly regarded expert in the field of paleoanthropology and human evolution.

Holliday’s presentation titled “Neandertals and Modern Human: Reticulation and Evolution” will focus on his investigation of the potential for interbreeding and hybridization between hominin species (those animals more closely related to people than to chimpanzees). Such hybridization has recently been genetically documented for two closely related hominin species (Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens) and likely occurred among other hominin species as well.

Holliday’s research has important implications on the understanding of the origins of modern humans, as well as all human evolution.

“While we are often focused on our recent history going back 10,000 years or more, it is also critical to understand out Paleolithic history, in that the early development of European culture and the biology of human species are based on our distant past as well as our recent past,” said Dr. David Bechler, VSU professor of Biology. “This is especially true when one looks at the interface of Cro-Magnon as they moved out of Africa and into what is now Europe and western Asia. Dr. Holliday’s presentation will provide critical insight into this aspect of our history.”

For more information, call the VSU Department of Biology at 229-333-5759. The Connell Lecture is open to the public and is free of charge.