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Changing Climates, Evolving Humans

This colourful leaflet from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) looks at how environmental factors have affected human evolution. It includes a timeline and map showing how and where humans have developed and changed over millions of years.

Humans are a truly global species. We have colonised every continent. We have adapted and thrived in the harshest of environments. How did this happen? And what part did the environment, including climate change, play in human evolution and development?

Between 2002 and 2006 the Natural Environment Research Council funded an ambitious programme, Environmental Factors in the Chronology of Human Evolution & Dispersal (EFCHED), to investigate humanity's rapid expansion out of Africa and across the globe.

The programme sought answers to several questions. When did humans move out of Africa? Did humans leave alone or did their dispersal coincide with widespread mammal migrations? Was there just one major movement of people or were there many?

NERC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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