The Human Ecology Research Group at the Department of Anthropology draws special attention to various forms of interactions between Humans and their environment.
Homo sapiens and his ancestors can also be characterized by their unique features in coping with environmental factors. In the course of human evolution at least two stages of environmental influences can be distinguished: Initially some specific environmental factors affected the condition of human phylogenesis – vulgo: Human Nature. Then these interactions have been amended by the rising process of cultural development – vulgo: Human Culture. The subject of Human Ecology here combines necessary components of both: nature and culture, human beings and their surroundings. The dimensions of Human evolutionary ecology mainly are covered by in-depth views into human environmental history: questions like brain evolution, development of human group sizes or the evolution of speech are within the focus here. Another research focus can easily be seen as an emerging consequence of the exceptional phylogenetic position of Homo sapiens and his unique modes of resource use and resource production. The research questions within this field range from the beginning of resource production during the Neolithic transition up to the present day problems of limited resources and sustainable development.