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The Evolving Brain: social interaction and complexity

The Seminar Paper and Challenge Questions 

  The Evolving Brain

Seminar Paper       Pre-Seminar Focus Questions

Post Seminar

Challenge Questions

  • Download the seminar paper and read this in preparation for your in-school workshop prior to the seminar on June 2nd
  • Download the Pre-Seminar Focus Paper.
  • Use the focus questions to help you as you read the seminar paper.
  • Post your questions for the seminar on the Seminar 4 Question Page.
  • Join the live chat and ask questions during the seminar

  • The CHALLENGE QUESTIONS are for discussion in your school workshop after the seminar.
  • Make sure that you post your ideas and answers to the challenge questions here.
  • This page will be monitored by teachers and scientists who will respond to your discussion.

Post a question for the seminar

If you would like to ask a question about the seminar paper before the seminar please click here. Questions will be answered during the seminar.

View the seminar powerpoint

A copy of the seminar powerpoint is available here.

Seminar LiveChat



  • You need a username and password to enter the chat. If you don't have one you need to register for the seminar series. This needs to be done BEFORE the day of the seminar.
  • Join livechat during the seminar to talk to participating students throughout New Zealand and ask questions of the scientists.
  • Most questions will be answered during the seminar; either during the chat, or at the end of the broadcast.
  • Any questions that are not answered during the seminar will be answered afterwards on the wiki.


Watch the Seminar later

Click here to watch the seminar recording  Click here to download a copy of the seminar recording


About the Presenters

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman  |   Dr Alan Beedle  |  Dr Tatjana Buklijas  |   Jacquie Bay   |  

Useful Links and References 

The Evolution and Medicine Review - an online open access journal on Evolutionary Medicine edited by international leaders in this field

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin online

New Scientist's Evolution: 24 Myths and Misconceptions

Centre for Human Evolution, Adaption and Disease (based at the Liggins Institute)

How we are evolving Scientific American October 2010

Resources Written for High School and Undergraduate Students

The Evolutionary Genetics Topic Room at Nature Scitable An excellent resource on evolutionary genetics for high school and undergraduate students

Evolutionary Adaptation in the Human Lineage    Schaffner, S. & Sabeti, P. (2008) Evolutionary adaptation in the human lineage. Nature Education 1(1) 

Natural Selection   Sabeti, P. (2008) Natural selection: Uncovering mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation to infectious disease. Nature Education 1(1)

The Molecular Clock - Estimating Species Divergence  Ho, S. (2008) The molecular clock and estimating species divergence. Nature Education 1(1)

Human Evolution Meyer, A, (2009) Human Evolution ALPHA 138 Royal Society of New Zealand

Did early modern humans and Neanderthals interbreed?

Neanderthals may have interbred with humans Nature News 20 April 2010

Neandertal Genome Study Reveals That We Have a Little Caveman in Us Scientific American 6 May 2010

Links to your school programme

This seminar links to the following NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards:

  • AS 90717 Biology 3.5 Describe processes and patterns of evolution
  • AS 90719 Biology 3.7 Describe trends in human evolution