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18:00 - 19:30 9 December 2011

The Origins of Lactase Persistence and Dairying in Europe


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student

Speaker information

UCL Science Society, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Evolution & Environment, UCL

Most Europeans take drinking milk for granted; it's the everyday consumption of an everyday drink. But for most adult humans, indeed, for most adult mammals, milk is very far from an everyday drink. Milk is something that we have specifically evolved to be able to consume in the relatively recent past. The ability to digest the sugar in milk is called Lactase Persistence and Darwin's engine of evolutionary change, natural selection, has probably worked harder on this trait than on any other biological characteristic of Europeans in the last 10,000 years. In this presentation we will see how Genetics, Archaeology, Anthropology, Physiology, ancient DNA and computer simulations can be combined to understand where, when and how Lactase persistence co-evolved with the culture of dairying in Europeans.


Mark Huckvale
+44 (0)20 7679 4087 | m.huckvale@ucl.ac.uk


UCL Science Society