Like all animals, they are faced with the problems of how to survive, breed and rear offspring. The emphasis is on critical assessment of the methodology employed in reaching conclusions about our evolutionary past. Other academics might act as supervisors during field or lab work phases, given that students will often collect dissertation data in research groups located outside UCL.
The course asks how primates organize their social and reproductive strategies to adapt to specific environmental conditions. Suggested readings: The first-term component "Palaeoanthropology" prepares students for this advanced option. Neanderthal DNA sequences and the origins of modern humans. One electronic copy must be submitted via Moodle (see section on Electronic Coursework Submission).5.1.
Option registration: At the beginning of the first term you will be asked to indicate your specialist options for the year by filling out the Masters Course Options sheet (see end of booklet), and handing it to the Postgraduate Coordinator (James Emmanuel) no later than Friday of the first week.
Students will be trained in the technical and creative skills of video and digital technology to represent and document social and scientific research to broadcast standards under the guidance of an award-winning and experienced industry professional guiding them through both the practical skills, aesthetic and ethical approaches to visual representation.
Topics covered will include social, mating, and breeding systems; sexual selection; parenting behaviour; ecological competition; intra-specific aggression; social intelligence (particularly deception and "language") and technological intelligence (tool use); animal rights. In addition, students can familiarize themselves with current issues of "Journal of Human Evolution" and "American Journal of Physical Anthropology".2.5. Topics of Masters dissertations from previous years (selected titles since 1996; per year, about 10 dissertations are submitted) - The Neanderthal and Homo erectus pelvis in human evolution - A quantitative analysis of gibbon behavioural ecology - The evolution of the mammalian sex chromosome heteromorphism - An evolutionary analysis of tool using behaviour: a computer simulation of the behaviours of complex life - Primate lifespan, mortality risk and the disposable soma theory of senescence - Playing safe: agonistic interactions and risk-management tactics of oestrous female rhesus macaques - Hominid palaeodemography: the Neanderthals - Human, ape and fossil hominid growth and development - The significance of eye orbits in human evolution - The significance of dental roots - One foot in the past: an investigation into the degree of halux abduction of the OH 8 foot - Tools, hands and interpretations: a pilot study analysing the hand grips utilised by chimpanzees, whilst manipulating tools - Encephalisation and the origins of human food processing: food for thought - Grandmothering in evolutionary perspective: a dynamic model of population growth - A morphometric assessment of the Olduvai hominid 48 clavicle - A craniometric study of fossil calvaria from the Sima de los Huesons, Atapuerca - Calculating species numbers in extinct hominoidea - The expensive tissue hypothesis: the relationship between basal metabolic rate and organ mass - Primates and the bush meat crisis- does exploitation necessarily mean extinction?
In reality, this is almost always achieved, as students often originate from various programmes. It provides an anatomical background to the dentition, as well as the histology of dental tissues, morphological variation, changes with age and development, and dental pathology, dealing specifically with the remains of Late Pleistocene and Holocene hominids, concentrating on anatomically modern humans, but including Neanderthals. Fossil evidence for tool behaviour in the Plio-Pleistocene hominids.