The Human Evolution Research Institute (HERI) drives African-led research on human evolution at UCT and across the continent. We believe that with diverse teams, we can ask deeper questions and get better answers to our origin story. The result can lead to a better understanding of our past and a greater appreciation of human diversity.

Research at HERI focuses on questions of human biological and cultural evolution on many levels and across a wide time period. Our multidisciplinary teams investigate fossil records, the role of hybridisation in evolution, understanding the origins of modern human behaviour, and dating Africa’s fossil and archaeological sites. We also explore how changing climates and environments shaped our historical development.

HERI also hosts leading figures in the palaeosciences at our space on the UCT campus for talks, teas, and workshops. We encourage interdisciplinary exchange and cooperation in our research, our collaborations, and our communication.

Human  Evolution Research Institute (HERI)


Professor Becky Ackermann
HERI Co-Director