Evolution on the shorelines

September 19th, 2016

Researcher, Stephen Cunnane, contributed to the BBC4 program - The Waterside Ape. The central theme of the program was the importance of foods found on or near the seashore (shellfish, fish, crustaceans, aquatic plants) in the evolution of the human brain. These foods were of key importance to human brain evolution because they provided the richest known supply of ‘brain-selective’ nutrients such as iodine, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin D on which the brain depends for its growth, maturation and function.

The two-part broadcast of The Waterside Ape (September 14 and 15) was hosted by Sir David Attenborough, the British equivalent of David Suzuki in Canada and an iconic figure in scientific journalism and the field of natural history.

Attenborough referred to a volume of the Journal of Human Evolution, published in 2014, in which a dozen articles on this subject were contributed by leading global experts in brain nutrition, chemistry and paleoanthropology. Dr. Stephen Cunnane was one of the three co-editors and contributor to this landmark volume. Dr. Cunnane has also written one book and edited another on this topic.

To listen to the broadcast, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07v0hhm

Tribute Paid by ISSFAL 

During the 12th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Dr. Stephen Cunnane was named a Founding Fellow of the society, one of 12 individuals (and the youngest!) to be awarded this distinction. This recognition was given for his exceptional contribution to the visibility, growth, and scientific credibility of ISSFAL. ISSFAL is the only international scientific society dedicated to the study of the broad range of biological effects of lipids, and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. Dr. Cunnane organised the 5th ISSFAL Congress in Montreal in 2002.

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