Tracing Our Ancestors

After coming from Zoobiquity, I was pumped to hear another inspiring lecture. Dr. Kittles discussed tracing roots back to Africa, and how Africa was most diverse because of its size and myriad ethnicities. Although Dr. Kittles topic was itself interesting, I felt his presentation was a bit dry. We, as AP Biology students, were already familiar with many of the concepts he mentioned (polygenetic inheritance,mitochondrial DNA, etc) and the concepts that were new, I felt weren’t discussed thoroughly.

I did find the talk enjoyable because Dr. Kittles was entertaining. He joked with the audience throughout the presentation. Although, I feel that his humor did not make up for his presentation. Judging at the gender gap in the room, Dr. Kittles probably was aiming for an older and perhaps less informed audience and thus made his presentation more basic.

One thing I did enjoy was Dr.Kittles’s genetic make up results. I thought it was fascinating to see real life results of what he was speaking about. It made me want to get a test too! It was really interesting to see that our genetic make up isn’t fully reflective of what we look like – a concept that biology students struggle to understand.

Another thing I enjoyed was the historical aspect of the event. The history behind the evolution was interesting and made the presentation better. Knowing the history helped in understanding the science. It also made his vision more clear and drew my attention to his root cause for speaking at the event. It was clear that history made an impact in the way we trace history in Africa today.

Overall, I liked the event. Although some parts went a little slow, I liked the idea behind the event. There were many interesting things I learned (and relearned) from this experience. The only thing I didn’t like was the presentation style because I felt it wasn’t engaging enough.

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