April 12: Geneticist Spencer Wells traces history of human migration

Geneticist Spencer Wells, the National Geographic Society's Explorer-in-Residence, will take an Erie audience on the epic journey of human migratory history when he appears in the Speaker Series at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 12.

His presentation, “The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey,” takes place in the McGarvey Commons of the college’s Reed Union Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

Where do you really come from? And how did you get to where you live today? Spencer Wells directs The Genographic Project, a joint effort by National Geographic and IBM to answer those questions. DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who began a remarkable journey about 60,000 years ago. The Genographic Project seeks to chart new knowledge about this migratory history of the human species by using sophisticated laboratory and computer analysis of DNA contributed by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. In this unprecedented and of real-time research effort, The Genographic Project is closing the gaps of what science knows about humankind’s ancient migration stories.

Wells also is the Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of ‘56 professor at Cornell University, and the author of three books: “The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey,” “Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project,” and “Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization.”

Spencer Wells’ Speaker Series appearance is supported by Penn State Behrend’s Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Activities at 814-898-6171.


Last Updated March 27, 2012