The expansion of cognitive capacities is a major aspect in human evolution. We study the development from a biocultural-ecological perspective.
The research center “The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans (ROCEEH)”, supported by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, investigates the role of culture in early expansions of humanity. The project encompasses the time from three million to 20.000 years ago, and spans the whole geographical area from Africa to Europe.
The research field of paleobiology is highly diverse. In general, we are analysing the ecological relationships between organisms and their environment. Based on such relationships we conclude on the behavior of animals on one hand and specific features of the environment on the other.
In order to draw a comprehensive picture of the environment and landscape that formed the habitat of early humans and to identify environmental influences on their adaptation, bio-cultural development and expansions, the paleobotanical working group of the department takes advantage of a whole spectrum of fossil plant material and methods.