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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

The origins of agriculture and domesticated crops Event

Professor Colin Osborne
10 October 2018
Life Sciences B85, Room 2207

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Maria Hilliard on 02380 594728 or email .

Event details

People first began farming and domesticated crops in multiple independent geographical regions 10,000 years ago. These early events in global agriculture transformed human history, and eventually gave rise to our modern food system where 60% of calorie intake comes from just three crop species. In this talk, I will look at how agriculture began, and how crops were domesticated. To what extent did the characteristics we associate with domesticated crops arise from deliberate breeding, and to what extent did they arise unintentionally from the sowing, management and harvesting of plants? And why, out of all the edible plants exploited by hunter gatherers, did early agriculture become focused on a small number of staple crops? Our work in this area compares the biology of crop landraces and wild relatives to make inferences about the processes at work during the origins of agriculture, spanning plant growth, allocation, size and responses to global change.

Speaker information

Professor Colin Osborne,University of Sheffield,Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

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