Opendata, web and dolomites


West Africa's Role in Human Evolution

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "aWARE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 80539
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-08-01   to  2020-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Recent evidence indicates that the roots of our species, Homo sapiens, do not trace back to a single population, but to morphologically diverse group living over an extensive geographic area from Morocco to South Africa. The range of environments and regions in Africa that played a role in shaping our species is therefore rapidly emerging as central to unravelling human origins. However, thanks to the lack of fieldwork in many regions of Africa, these important parameters are not well understood.

The aWARE project will therefore undertake a timely investigation into the role of Africa’s western forests, and their neighbouring ecozones, in modern human origins. Genetic and fossil studies have associated poorly known West Africa with complex evolutionary processes thought to have played a key role in shaping our species. Such processes include admixture between our species and late-surviving archaic humans, and long-term isolation of H. sapiens populations in forested zones. Significantly, research in West Africa by the applicant has also identified a unique late persistence of stone tool technology typical of much older periods, while at the same time demonstrating that human populations were present in currently forested regions close to the time of H. sapiens speciation.

aWARE builds on this pilot work and sets forth a series of explicit, testable hypotheses to explore the time depth and environmental context of human populations in West Africa as a window into our pan-African origins. To adequately address these hypotheses, an interdisciplinary approach is taken, combining information from archaeology and palaeoecology. By exploring major theories in recent human origins through Africa’s poorly known western region, the project offers an opportunity to radically change our understanding of recent human evolution. The results will be broadly communicated through open access resources, including an online database and targeted public outreach activities.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Eleanor M.L. Scerri, Mark G. Thomas, Andrea Manica, Philipp Gunz, Jay T. Stock, Chris Stringer, Matt Grove, Huw S. Groucutt, Axel Timmermann, G. Philip Rightmire, Francesco d’Errico, Christian A. Tryon, Nick A. Drake, Alison S. Brooks, Robin W. Dennell, Richard Durbin, Brenna M. Henn, Julia Lee-Thorp, Peter deMenocal, Michael D. Petraglia, Jessica C. Thompson, Aylwyn Scally, Lounès Chikhi
Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter?
published pages: 582-594, ISSN: 0169-5347, DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2018.05.005
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33/8 2019-09-02

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The information about "AWARE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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