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Human Traces Webinar Series: Risk and Fragility in Prehistoric Populations

Online meeting
Contact person
Nathalie Dubois
E-Mail address
Working groups

The Human Traces Working group is pleased to announce the launch of its monthly Webinar Series starting December 2021.

19 Jan 2022 - 3pm UTC
Prof Jacob Freeman, Utah State University, USA and member of PAGES PEOPLE3000 working group
Risk and Fragility in Prehistoric Populations

> Watch recording


A basic principle of complex systems science is that predicting specific events, like the timing of a population's collapse, is difficult. However, social-ecological systems may display general processes that make them more vs. less fragile in the face of constant volatility and environmental change. Paleoscience, archaeology in particular, has the potential to examine hundreds of completed social-ecological experiments to identify the processes that determine the fragility of systems faced with continuous volatility. In this talk, I describe our research team's progress studying the general processes that make human populations, and social-ecological systems more generally, more vs. less fragile in the face of volatility. I identify basic tradeoffs between the productivity and fragility of human populations and use these results to frame the major investments in research infrastructure currently spearheaded by the PAGES sponsored People 3000 research network.  


Dr. Jacob Freeman is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Program and Ecology Center at Utah State University. He earned is PhD from Arizona State University in 2014. He has published on the long-term dynamics of human populations and the robustness of collective action in social-ecological systems faced with constant environmental change and uncertainty.

More information

Please get in touch with the Human Traces Steering Committee if you would like to present your work related to Human Traces.

> Watch past webinar recordings