What connects a series of volcanic eruptions and severe summer cooling with a century of pandemics, human migration and the rise and fall of civilisations? Tree rings, says Ulf Büntgen, who leads Cambridge’s first dedicated tree-ring laboratory in the Department of Geography.
First study to model the organisation behind trade in illegal border crossings shows no “Mafia-like” monopoly of routes from Africa into Europe via Mediterranean. Instead, myriad independent smugglers compete in open markets that have emerged at every stage of the journey.
Cambridge criminologists are using emerging sources of information – from court records to Facebook groups – to analyse the networks behind one of the fastest-growing black markets on the planet: the smuggling of people into Europe.
In contrast to Western Europeans, new research finds contemporary East Asians are genetically much closer to the ancient hunter-gatherers that lived in the same region eight thousand years previously.
Unprecedented study of Aboriginal Australians points to one shared Out of Africa migration for modern humans21 Sep 2016
The first significant investigation into the genomics of Aboriginal Australians has uncovered several major findings about early human populations. These include evidence of a single “Out of Africa” migration event, and of a previously unidentified, “ghost-like” population spread which provided a basis for the modern Aboriginal cultural landscape.
Several major studies, published today, concur that virtually all current global human populations stem from a single wave of expansion out of Africa. Yet one has found 2% of the genome in Papuan populations points to an earlier, separate dispersal event – and an extinct lineage that made it to the islands of Southeast Asia and Oceania.
Using ancient DNA, researchers have created a unique picture of how a prehistoric migration route evolved over thousands of years – revealing that it could not have been used by the first people to enter the Americas, as traditionally thought.
Claire Spottiswoode (Department of Zoology) and Marjorie Sorensen (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) discuss why several species of migratory songbirds sing a great deal in Africa when their breeding grounds are thousands of kilometres away.
Ahead of Britain’s EU referendum, research will explore the experiences of EU migrants working in the UK, and attitudes to employment and social security – for which there is little empirical evidence, despite intense political rhetoric. An initial study suggests workers from the EU are significantly under-represented in employment tribunals.
Populations of hunter-gatherers weathered Ice Age in apparent isolation in Caucasus mountain region for millennia, later mixing with other ancestral populations, from which emerged the Yamnaya culture that would bring this Caucasus hunter-gatherer lineage to Western Europe.