Title of Abstract

Homo Neanderthalensis Introgression into Modern Humans and Its Implications

Submitting Student(s)

Dalton Shivers

Session Title

Final Oral Competition

Faculty Mentor

Dwight Dimaculangan, Ph.D.| Lauran Brasington, Ph.D.| Janice Chism, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Abstract

The image of the famous hominin species Homo neanderthalensis has undergone many changes in the last century, particularly in the past 15 years. Once thought to be a primitive relative of Homo sapiens, the H. neanderthalensis species are now seen as complex individuals who had the capacity to rival H. sapiens in culture and intelligence. As new waves of technology become available, the way at which we interpret ancient hominid fossils remains everchanging. The genetic makeup of recent H. neanderthalensis specimens provide strong evidence to suggest that gene flow has happened from H. neanderthalensis to modern humans. Where and when this gene flow occurred is widely discussed among scientists today. Many believe the main gene introgression event to have taken place outside of Africa during the H. sapien migration towards Eurasia, but new evidence arises each year in favor of a much more complex relationship of interbreeding between multiple hominid species spanning different continents and timelines. The data and arguments about the gene introgression and location are discussed here as well as the cultural significance of the question itself.

Honors Thesis Committee

Dwight Dimaculangan, Ph.D., Lauran Brasington, Ph.D., Janice Chism, Ph.D.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Winthrop University Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors, Rock Hill, SC, April 2023.

Type of Presentation

Oral presentation

Start Date

15-4-2023 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Homo Neanderthalensis Introgression into Modern Humans and Its Implications

The image of the famous hominin species Homo neanderthalensis has undergone many changes in the last century, particularly in the past 15 years. Once thought to be a primitive relative of Homo sapiens, the H. neanderthalensis species are now seen as complex individuals who had the capacity to rival H. sapiens in culture and intelligence. As new waves of technology become available, the way at which we interpret ancient hominid fossils remains everchanging. The genetic makeup of recent H. neanderthalensis specimens provide strong evidence to suggest that gene flow has happened from H. neanderthalensis to modern humans. Where and when this gene flow occurred is widely discussed among scientists today. Many believe the main gene introgression event to have taken place outside of Africa during the H. sapien migration towards Eurasia, but new evidence arises each year in favor of a much more complex relationship of interbreeding between multiple hominid species spanning different continents and timelines. The data and arguments about the gene introgression and location are discussed here as well as the cultural significance of the question itself.