Professor Christopher Stringer CBE FRS

Chris Stringer collaborates with archaeologists, specialists in dating ancient materials and geneticists to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans. He played a key role in formulating the recent African origin — ‘Out of Africa’ — model of our species’ origins in Africa over 100,000 years ago. Working with new fossil, archaeological and genetic data, Chris has now set out a modified version of this model, termed the coalescent African origin model.

Chris’s interests emerged from an early fascination with Neanderthals, an extinct species of human. From his research across Europe he showed that, contrary to prevailing thought, Neanderthals were not the primary ancestors of modern humans in Europe.

He continues to conduct his research in the United Kingdom, directing three phases of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project, and co-directing the Pathways to Ancient Britain project, studying the human colonisation of Britain during the Pleistocene. As well as his scientific work, Chris is author of the bestselling book The Origin of Our Species (2012), and co-author of Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story (2014).

Professional position

  • Research Leader in Human Origins, Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology