2016 SSHB symposium: Human biology of migration

30 November – 2 December 2016

Aarhus, Denmark



The Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) is proud to host the 2016 annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Biology. This year we look forward to welcoming an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners to discuss the effects of migration on human health, behaviour and well-being.

Migration is a global phenomenon, involving the movement of people within (internal) and between (external) countries. The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years reaching 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010 and 173 million in 2000 (UN International Migration Report 2015). Over the next forty years all the world’s population growth is expected to take place in urban areas as a result of rural-to-urban migration and natural growth (UN population Division, 2011).

Understanding the human biology of migration will help us prepare for and tackle the myriad of opportunities and challenges posed by human migration. When supported by appropriate policies, migration can contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in both home and host communities. Nevertheless, many migrants remain the most vulnerable members of society. Accurate and timely data on the patterns of migration, the demographics and health of migrant populations will hopefully improve not only understanding of human variability, behavioural ecology and health, but also assist us in, for example, developing migrant-sensitive health policies and practices.

The aim of this international symposium is to bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners, including not only anthropologists and human biologists, but also researchers with a wide range of expertise and methodological backgrounds, including health, nutrition, demography and disease, to tackle questions around human migration.

We are delighted to confirm that Prof Michael Bang Petersen will give the keynote opening lecture on Wednesday 30 November from 16:00-17:00: “The Biology of Anti-Immigration Politics”. This event will be open to researchers and the public and followed by a complimentary reception with snacks and drinks.

We are really excited about the plenary speakers at SSHB 2016. They include Prof Sarah Salway and Prof Michelle Holdsworth from the University of Sheffield, UK; Dr Charlotte Houldcroft from The University of Cambridge, UK; Dr Geogios Athanasiadas and Prof Christian Wejse from Aarhus University. Additional speakers and the full program will be announced in due course. Watch this space!

This year we are delighted to announce that Prof Nick Mascie-Taylor will be receiving the Tanner Memorial Medal. This award recognises a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the field of human biology.

Please see further information below regarding abstract submission, registration, travel arrangements and more. Please send any other enquires to SSHB2016@gmail.com

Call for Abstracts

SSHB 2016 welcomes submission for either poster or oral presentations. Abstract submissions should be no longer than 300 words and be submitted online. You can submit either a poster or oral presentation. Click here for further details and submission forms. The deadline is 21 October 2016.

Registration and costs

SSHB is proud to provide extra support to graduate students for whom the registration fee is £75. This includes lunches as well as coffee, tea and cakes. there is a lovely dinner planned on Thursday night which SSHB is subsidising for graduate students. The dinner cost for graduate students is only £25 which will get you a three course meal including wine, beer, coffee etc. in one of Aarhus’ finest restaurants. 

The registration fee for non-student members is £200. However, if you join the society (at a cost of £30), you can opt for the members registration fee at £150. This also includes lunches and coffee, tea, cake etc. Dinner for non-students costs an extra £40.

In summary:

  • Student registration – £75
  • Student registration with dinner – £100
  • Non-member registration – £200
  • Non-member registration with dinner – £240
  • Member registration – £150
  • Member registration with dinner – £190

We kindly ask people to register directly with the SSHB 2016 Symposium host: Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Travel awards

The Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB) is offering financial support (£750) for postgraduate students to attend and present at international conferences. It is anticipated that a maximum of two prizes will be made in 2016. Full details and submission forms can be found here.

SSHB 2016 Travel prize winners:

  • Marios Poullas, University College London – The association of El Niño Southern Oscillation with intra- and inter- generational changes in the height and weight of people born in India.
  • Laura Goodwin, Cardiff University – Immigration and continuing inequalities in maternity outcomes; exploring the midwife-woman relationship for migrant women in South Wales
  • Milly Farrell, Oxford Brookes University –  The Lure of London: An osteological comparison of mid-nineteenth century populations from differing social strata in London.
  • Hankook Kim, Loughborough University – An investigation into the body fatness size and shape using Healy and Tanner’s method (NHANES iii data).

Additionally, the 2016 SSHB Young Investigator Award aims to provide support for young investigators to attend and present their work at SSHB events. Full details and submission forms can be found here. The deadline has now passed, awaiting results. 


(For downloadable PDF click here)

Wednesday, 30 November

15.00-15.45: Conference registration
15.45-16.00:  Introduction to keynote lecture and official launch of SSHB 2016 symposium
16.00-17.00: Opening keynoteProf. Michael Bang Petersen (Aarhus University): ‘The Biology of anti-immigration politics’, The opening keynote is free to attend and OPEN TO ALL (including members of the public).
17.15-19.00: Welcome reception open to all.

Thursday, 1 December

08.30-09.00: Conference registration
09.00-09.05: Welcome: Morten Kyndrup, Director of AIAS
09.05-09.15:  Introduction to SSHB 2016: Simon Underdown & Djuke Veldhuis

09.15-09.55:  Keynote I: Yorgos Athanasiadis (Aarhus University): ‘High school students help unravel Denmark’s genetic past’

09.55-10.15:   Simon Underdown (Oxford Brookes University): ‘Neanderthal Pathology as a Proxy for Human Success – Evidence of atypical or typical human hunter-gatherer movement?’

10.15-10.35:   Theya Molleson (Natural History Museum, London): ‘Those feet in Ancient Times’


11.00-11.20:  Marcello Mannino (Aarhus University): ‘Neolithic migrations and their health consequences for the first Mediterranean farmers’

11.20-12.00:  Keynote II: Charlotte Houldcroft (University of Cambridge): ‘Germs on a journey: what human pathogens can tell us about population movements and human evolution’

12.00-12.20:  Anna Rivara (University of South Florida) and Sabrina Paiva: ‘The interactions of immune functioning and fertility in
American and Brazilian quilombo populations: determining how ecology and evolution are directing IgE profiles’


13.15-13.20:  Introduction to afternoon session
13.20 -14.00: Keynote III: Christian Wejse (Aarhus University): ‘Infectious Diseases in refugees and asylum seekers’
14.00-14.20:  Claudia Hartman (Oxford University): ‘The construction of unskilled care work: the case of migrant workers in social care for older people in the UK’
14.20-14.40: Laura Goodwin (Cardiff University): ‘Immigration and continuing inequalities in maternity outcomes; exploring the midwife-woman relationship for migrant Pakistani women in South Wales’

—Coffee & cake—

15.00-15.05: Introduction (please note change of schedule to afternoon session)

15.05-15.25: Luseadra McKerracher (Simon Fraser University), Mark Collard and Pablo Nepomnaschy: ‘Immigration affects at first birth and age at weaning in an indigenous Maya population from rural Guatemala’

15.25-17.00: Posters session (and wine reception)

19.30-22.30: Dinner at NO16 (Europaplads 16, 8000 Aarhus C

Friday, 2 December

09.30-09.40: Introduction to Tanner Memorial Lecture
09.40-10.30: Tanner Memorial Lecture – Nick Mascie-Taylor (University of Cambridge): ‘From genes to latrines’

Morning coffee

10.55-11.15:  Marios Poullas (University College London), Jonathan Wells, Mark Saunders and Mario Cortina-Borja: ‘The association of El Nino Southern Oscillation with intra- and inter- generational changes in height and weight of people born in India’

11.15-11.35:  Helen Liversidge (Queen Mary University London) and Fadil Elamin: ‘A comparison of permanent mandibular molar timing in several African groups’

11.35-12.00:  Michael Hermanussen (University of Kiel), Christiane Scheffler and Barry Bogin: ‘As tall as my peers – similarity in body height between migrants and hosts’


13.00-13.10:  Introduction
13.10-13.50:  Keynote V: Sarah Salway (University of Sheffield): ‘Towards healthcare equity for migrant populations: conceptual and operational challenges’
13.50-15.00:  Discussion and closing remarks

15.00-16.00 Closing reception, refreshment & snacks

Further information

> Location and travel information

We are delighted that the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) has agreed to host this year’s SSHB symposium. The mission of AIAS is to advance highest quality research at Aarhus University by attracting talented, highly qualified fellows worldwide and within all disciplines. Situated in the heart of Denmark, Aarhus is European Capital of Culture 2017. There is something for everyone here. From art at the ARoS museum to archaeology and ethnography at the Moesgaard museum (running “The first immigrants” exhibition during the symposium) as well as a bustling city centre with a multitude of pubs and cafe’s. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the wilder side of Denmark too with forests and sea only a stone’s throw away from the city. What’s more for those of you looking to get into the festive spirit check out the Aarhus Christmas Markets.

Full details on how to get to Aarhus can be found here. Please note there are direct flights to and from Aarhus via London Stansted. If you are travelling back on Saturday it is easier to travel back via Billund Airport (a short train journey from Aarhus). You could even stop by LegoLand on the way! Skyscanner or similar are useful for checking out the options.

> Accommodation options

AIAS has pre-booked single rooms at two centrally located hotels for SSHB 2016 guests until 11 November 2016.:

  • www.themayor.dk at DKK 695/night incl. breakfast (promotional code: INS301116)
  • www.comwellaarhus.dk at DKK 898/night incl. breakfast incl. breakfast (promotional code: 3828454)

Please contact the hotel directly and provide the code to activate the booking at the prices quoted.

> Conferences events and activities

In collaboration with AIAS we are pleased to announce that everyone attending will be receiving a free pass to the ARoS art museum. Aarhus city centre is only a five minute walk from the symposium venue and we will be happy to show you some of the best places to eat and drink on Wednesday and Friday evening. On Thursday 1 December the symposium banquet will be hosted at one of Aarhus’ premier restaurants Centralværkstedet.

The world-famous Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, has created Your rainbow panorama and it was official opened in May 2011 on top of ARoS.
The world-famous Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, has created a rainbow panoram on top of ARoS.