Is Man Just Another Animal? and Gibbonology: Why Study Southeast Asia’s Small Apes?

Is Man Just Another Animal?
Talk by Professor Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, UCL

Homo sapiens shares much of his DNA with the animals in this zoo; with the chimpanzee sharing around 95% of our genes. In Darwin's day such physical similarity seemed to many to drag us down the level of the apes, which was in part why so many refused to accept the theory of evolution. But when we look in more detail at our similarities and differences we are, in many ways a diminished version of our closest relative, in teeth, in hair, in our guts and in our muscles. We have, however, gained a lot in another organ, the brain.

Gibbonology: Why Study Southeast Asia’s Small Apes?
Professor Helen Chatterjee, Professor of Biology,, UCL Biosciences & Head of Research and Teaching, UCL Culture

This talk will offer insights into the past, present and future of some of the world’s rarest primates, the gibbons, small apes from Southeast Asia. Helen will explore the main drivers which have led to the decline of these enigmatic apes and discuss some of her research which uses data from the fossil and historical records to understand the how the distribution of gibbons has changed over time.

This event will be hosted by Professor Kate Jones, Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Dept. Genetics, Evolution and Environment, UCL

Watch on Youtube


About the speakers

Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at UCL, where he has been for forty years. He has written many scientific books (the most recent being No Need for Genius: Revolutionary Science in the Age of the Guillotine, and - his magnum opus - The Ladybird Book of Evolution) and frequently appears on radio and television. Steve Jones is one of the world's top six experts on the evolutionary genetics of snails, and the other five agree.

Helen Chatterjee is a Professor of Biology in UCL Biosciences and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Culture. Helen’s research includes biodiversity conservation and evidencing the impact of natural and cultural participation on health; she has worked on gibbons, small apes from Southeast Asia, for over 20 years and sits on the Executive Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Section on Small Apes. For 10 years Helen was Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL and she remains actively involved with museums; she co-founded and Chairs the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing and is an advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts and Health. Twitter: @h_chatterjee


Attending this event

  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre and Bartlett Suite at ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, London, NW1 4RY
  • Tickets: This event free to attend but pre-booking is essential.


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