Human Origins and Humanity's Future: Past, Present and Future of the Anthropocene

Event Date (Pacific Time): 
Saturday, Mar 5, 2022 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Event Chairs:

Leslie Aiello, University College London
Charles Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Cambridge University

Live Symposium Webcast:

Access to the live webcast for this symposium will be provided here on Saturday, March 5 starting at 10:00 AM (Pacific Time). Viewers will need to be logged into their user account to gain access, but are not required to register for this symposium.

This is an online-only event. Please email with any technical issues. Talks will be recorded by UCSD-TV and posted on this page in the weeks following the event. Follow this event page, as well as CARTA’s Facebook (@ucsdcarta) and Twitter (@CARTAUCSD) accounts for updates.

CARTA public symposia typically begin by emphasizing that the primary goal of Anthropogeny is to explore and understand where we humans came from, and how we got here. Consequently, we usually limit discussion of current day implications, and the question of where we are going as a species. This time we will focus on the long and short-term impact of humans on the planet that we inhabit, and the consequences for the future of our species. This also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the memory of the late Paul Crutzen, who coined the term “Anthropocene”. It is relevant to ask how a single species evolved the capacity to completely alter the surface of an entire planet and dominate its governing environmental and ecological processes. This symposium will bring together experts regarding human impact on the planet and also address the current and future implications for our species.

Event Sessions

Session Speakers
Honoring Paul Crutzen, A Personal Appreciation Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego
How Humans Evolved the Capacity to Change the Entire Planet Leslie Aiello, University College London
The Co-evolution of Humans and Domesticated Plants Michael Purugganan, New York University
Ants and the Anthropocene Mark Moffett, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History
The Coming Crisis of the Anthropocene Charles Kennel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Cambridge University
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Vanessa Ezenwa, Yale University
The Oceans and the Anthropocene Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History
We Alone David (Jonah) Western, African Conservation Center, Nairobi Kenya
Potential Utopian and Dystopian Futures Martin Rees, University of Cambridge

REGISTRATION FOR LIVE, ONLINE EVENT: As always, this online-only event is FREE and open to the public, however, please register to express your interest. To register, go to the bottom of this event page.

LIVE WEBCAST: This is an online-only event. Pre-recorded talks will stream beginning at 10:00 AM (Pacific), followed by a live-streamed Q&A where our speakers will answer audience questions beginning around 1:30 PM (Pacific). The Q&A will be also be recorded and posted along with the talks on the event page for viewing soon after the symposium has concluded.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Questions for our speakers may be submitted prior to or during the event by sending email to (please indicate the speakers that your questions are directed to, if applicable).

Support Opportunities

Free CARTA Zoom Backgrounds

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Registration Deadline: Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 2:30 PM

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