Crafoord Academy Lectures

Crafoords Academic Lectures 2016

Welcome to the Crafoord Academy Lecture 2016

What we can learn from ancient genomicsEske Willerslev, University of Copenhagen

I am interested in how we, as modern humans, obtained our contemporary genetic diversity, geographical distribution, and cultural variation. I am also trying to understand how early modern man began to impact the environment on a large scale. Over the past two decades my research group has addressed these questions using a combination of genomics and environmental DNA. In this presentation, I will take you through some of our recent findings focusing on the human population history of Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and the extinction of the big bodied Ice Age megafauna.

Eske Willerslev is Professor at the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen and a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). He is particularly known for establishing the field of environmental DNA, where genetic information from higher plants and animals is obtained directly from environmental samples, and for sequencing the first ancient human genome and using these approaches to understand our genetic past.

  • Date: 2016-12-13
  • Time: 14.00 - 15.30
  • Venue: AF-borgen
  • Address: Sandgatan 2, Lund
  • Organizer:
    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Crafoord Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Biology, Lund University.
  • Fee: The lecture is free of charge and mainly directed towards invited high school students. If you are interested in participating contact Dan-Eric Nilsson, dan-e.nilsson@biol.lu.se

More information:

Venue: Lund City Hall.

Crafoords Academic Lectures 2015

Welcome to Crafoord Academy Lecture 2015

Earth and life: A dance through timeAndrew H. Knoll, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Earth is a planet that records its own history, including an interwoven narrative of evolution and environmental change through time. The interplay between Earth and life plays out on many scales, none more dramatic than the largest – planetary in extent and billions of years long. Fossils of shells, bones, tracks and trails record a history of animal evolution nearly 600 million years in duration. Earth, however, is some four and a half billion years old – what kinds of organisms characterized our planet’s youth and middle age? And how do we establish the nature of life and environments on the early Earth? Comparative biology suggests that the deep history of life is microbial, and over the past three decades paleontologists have discovered a rich record of ancient microorganisms in rocks that long predate the earliest evidence of animals. Rock chemistry, in turn, indicates that the first billion years of microbial evolution played out on a planet without oxygen. 2400 million years ago, the initial accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere and surface oceans opened a new chapter in Earth history, one in which an expanding diversity of life thrived in oceans with moderate oxygen at the surface, but oxygen-free waters below. Only much later did our familiar world of abundant oxygen and conspicuous animals take shape, adding complexity to ecosystems still governed by microbial metabolisms that originated on the early Earth.

Andrew H. Knoll is the Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard University. He is best known for his work on early life and environments, but additionally has longstanding interests in biomineralization, paleobotany, plankton evolution, and mass extinction. Knoll also serves on the science team for NASA’s MER mission to Mars. Honors include membership in the US National Academy of Sciences and foreign membership in the Royal Society of London.

Venue: Lund City Hall.

Crafoords Academic Lectures 2014

Welcome to Crafoord Academy Lecture 2014

The emergence of our complex cosmos with Sir Martin Rees, Crafoord Laureate in Astronomy 2005, University of Camebridge.

Venue: Lund City Hall.