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  • Writer's pictureAdam

'Specialised Minds' presentation at EHBEA 2023

I have just returned from an excellent EHBEA conference hosted by UCL's anthropology department. I presented my paper on Specialised Minds and was happy with the reception and questions afterwards. One highlight of the presentations I saw was Mike Thomas on lactase tolerance, referencing his recent Nature paper (I think I disagree with his interpretation of the cause of increased selection on lactase tolerance - surely lactase digestion was beneficial, and lactase intolerance not the main selective pressure - but the idea and basic method of relating selective history with knowledge of ecology and environment is a good one).

A particular joy was being able to socialize with researchers in the field, especially after years of EHBEA being called off due to Covid. I had heard that EHBEA was a cut above in terms of quality of research and social events, and I had heard right! Particularly memorable was the boat trip down the Thames as the sun set - pretty much the best view you could possibly get of Tower Bridge in London. I leave with friends and experiences to last. I especially enjoyed meeting Lars Penke for the first time, a legend of the field, and an excellent interlocutor. We had fun. Special mention goes to Megan Arnot for doing such a great job organizing and being such a welcoming host. Thanks to the EHBEA organisers for providing a student travel grant, it was hugely appreciated. I look forward to EHBEA in Montpellier next year!

Myself, Lars Penke, and Megan Arnot, on the last night's boat trip!


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