Invited speakers

Please note the speaker change.  Wolfgang Haak will replace Johannes Krause who could not attend our conference due to important duties.

Russell Gray

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena

Russell Gray is the Director of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History In Jena, and holds adjunct positions in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and the Department of Philosophy at the Australian National University. His research spans the areas of cultural evolution, linguistics, animal cognition, and the philosophy of biology. He helped pioneer the application of computational evolutionary methods to questions about linguistic prehistory and cultural evolution. His core research focuses on questions about the history of languages, cultures and people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

His linguistic work set the stage for his recent research applying ecological and evolutionary methods to questions about the cultural evolution of religion and the development of large-scale stratified societies both in the Pacific and around the globe. He has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters including nine papers in Nature and Science.

Wolfgang Haak

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena
Dr Haak is the leader of the Molecular Anthropology Group.
His group works at the interface of human genetics, medical sciences, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics. His main aim is to investigate and evaluate ancient human genome-wide data in the light of data from neighbouring disciplines to generate a detailed and comprehensive portrait of human prehistory over the last 20,000 years. His portfolio ranges from global outlooks on population affinities, migrations and past demography to intra-group relationships, and also encompasses the interaction with and response to changing environmental factors, such as climate, diet and disease.

Jan Havlíček

Charles University, Prague
Jan Havlíček's main research interest is in evolutionary aspects of social perception. His group studies how odours, faces and voices influence impression formation, primarily in mating and competitive contexts, mainly within the theoretical frameworks of signalling, sexual selection and dual inheritance theory. His interests further include romantic relatioship formation and interaction of biological and cultural evolution. His background is in biology (BSc) and anthropology (MSc). He received a PhD (2004) from Charles University, Prague, for a study on human chemical communication. He works as Associate Professor at the Charles University, Faculty of Science and as the senior researcher at the National Insitute of Mental Health. He has published over 80 academic papers (h-index = 22), including articles in Psychological Science and Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Currently, he is the principle investigator of the University research centre „Nature and Culture: Historical, Cultural, and Biological Concepts of Human Nature”.

Grażyna Jasieńska

Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Grazyna Jasienska, Ph.D., is a biological anthropologist whose research interests include reproductive ecology, human fertility, life history, and implications of evolutionary biology for medicine and public health. She is the author of The Fragile Wisdom: An Evolutionary View on Women’s Biology and Health (Harvard Univ. Press, 2013). She established Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site in rural Poland where her team conducts longitudinal projects on human life history, fertility and health.

She received a MA and PhD in biological anthropology from Harvard University and MSc in biology from Jagiellonian University. She is a professor at Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and senior research scientist at Department of Anthropology at Yale University. She is founder and president of the Salus Publica Foundation for Public Health which supports research and aims to improve quality of life in rural communities.