Keynote Lectures


Marlize Lombard

Professor of Stone Age Archaeology and Director
of the Centre for Anthropological Research, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Keynote Lecture: A holistic model for human origins and diversity research in Africa.

Professor Marlize Lombard received her PhD in archaeology from the Science Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Currently she serves as Palaeo-Research Chair at the Palaeo-Research Institute currently being implemented at the University of Johannesburg, where she previously directed the Centre for Anthropological Research. Last year (2018), she received the University of Johannesburg Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award, and was a runner up in the South African Department of Science and Technology Women in Science Awards for Distinguished Woman Researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), co-leading the “Archaeology of a Hungry Mind: Human Cognitive Evolution” project with collaborators from Linnaeus and Lund Universities in Sweden.
Her research interests are broad, but mainly centred around aspects of the evolution of Homo sapiens in sub-Saharan Africa biologically, behaviourally and cognitively. Cumulatively, the work is facilitated in the multi-disciplinary Palaeo-TrACKS (“Tracing Ancient Cognition and Knowledge Systems through the Palaeolithic/Stone Age”) programme. Projects include numerous international and local research collaborations that explore: i) Aspects of Stone Age technological knowledge transmission, invention and innovation over the last 3.5 million years; ii) The genetic population history of sub-Saharan Africa with focus on the origins of Homo sapiens and more recent population histories; and iii) Developments in human cognitive evolution since our split from the other great apes at about 6 million years ago.

Website: Palaeo-TrACKS,



Lluis Quintana-Murci

Professor, Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics, Department of Genomes and Genetics, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France [info]

Kenynote Lecture: Understanding past demography and adaptation of African hunter-gatherers and farmers through genomics

Professor Lluis Quintana-Murci earned his Ph.D. in Population Genetics at the University of Pavia (Italy), and his MSc in Biology at the University of Barcelona (Spain). He is presently a Director of Research of CNRS and Professor at the Institut Pasteur (France). He heads the Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics at the Institut Pasteur since 2007, and has been Scientific Director of the Institut during 2016-2017. He is a population geneticist whose research focuses on demographic and adaptive inference in humans. In particular, he is interested in how pathogens have exerted selective pressures on the human genome. He has co-authored over 200 publications on fundamental population genetics as well as evolutionary genetics of infection, and published seven book chapters. He has received several awards, including the CNRS Bronze Medal (2008), the Dagnan-Bouveret Award from the French Academy of Sciences (2009), the Debiopharm- EPFL Life Sciences Award (2009), the CNRS Silver Medal (2013) and the Grand Prix of Medicine and Medical Research of the City of Paris (2014). He was a laureate of the European Research Council (ERC) in 2012, and is a member of EMBO and the Academia Europaea since 2014.

Website: Human Evolutionary Genetics Lab,