Wednesday 20 April 2016, 8 pm

It is now generally accepted that human origins lie in Africa. The spread of humanity, and the gradual development of farming systems with cattle as a central component are now well documented by archaeological and, more recently, genetic evidence. The central place of cattle in evolving human society is particularly notable in Ireland. This lecture presents the conclusions of scientific work in these areas.

The lecture is based on The evolution of cattle and cattle farming systems: the genetic evidence  which was published in “Agriculture and settlement in Ireland”, edited by Margaret Murphy & Matthew Stout (Four Courts Press, 2015): Agriculture and settlement in Ireland

Patrick Cunningham is Professor of Animal Genetics in Trinity College Dublin since 1974. He has worked in An Foras Talúntais, at the World Bank and at the FAO. He was elected president of the European and World Associations of Animal Production. He was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, 2007-12.His research has focused on the efficiency of livestock improvement programmes, on the genetics of cattle, horses and salmon, and on the use of molecular methods in studies on domestic animal evolution. This included the use of new methods of reading DNA to measure genetic diversity and plan livestock improvement in developing countries.