The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)


Session 31. Thriving at Miles High – Studying High Altitude Adaptation Around the Globe. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Xinjun Zhang Co-organizers: Xinjun Zhang, University of California Los Angeles, [email protected]; C. Eduardo Guerra Amorim, University of California Los Angeles, [email protected]

April 17, 2020 8 a.m. - noon, Diamond 4 Add to calendar

Modern humans have settled in some of the most extreme harsh environments, and high altitude is one example of such. Three human populations – on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, on the Ethiopian highlands in Africa, and in the Andes Mountains in South America – have remarkably adapted to the hypoxic environments at least 3,000 meters above the sea level. Additionally, a few groups of nonhuman primates have also managed to thrive at high altitude environment. While the specific adaptive mechanisms in these populations vary greatly from one another, adaptation involves complex changes at the genetic, physiological, and behavioral levels. Moreover, studies of modern humans from Tibetan populations have shown that archaic admixture with an extinct human species, the Denisovans, evidently affected the adaptive spectrum at least in Tibetan populations, making the adaptation history of our species more intriguing and complicated.

In the last two decades, many research efforts have been dedicated to identify both biological changes and cultural consequences of high altitude environments. However, there has not been a major meeting in this field where the scholars from multiple disciplines unite and discuss collectively. This symposium will be the first interdisciplinary summit in the field of high altitude adaptation research. We will bring together experts representing all anthropological disciplines that study this classic example of convergent adaptation, including archaeology, behavioral ecology, genetics, and primatology. The talk series will cover topics on distinct population histories, phenotypic variations, natural selection, the genetic architecture of high altitude adaptation, and complex human behaviors.

This symposium aims at promoting interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration for researchers at all career levels. We will also encourage the participation from a broad audience beyond the conference, via live-streaming and social media broadcasting during the symposium session.

8:00AM Add to calendar The Pleistocene Peopling of the Tibetan Plateau: Environmental Background, Mechanisms and Processes. Xing Gao, Mingjie Yi, John W. Olsen.
8:15AM Add to calendar The genetic history and adaptive evolution of Tibetan highlanders. Shuhua Xu.
8:30AM Add to calendar Infancy at Altitude: Milk composition, infant growth, and high altitude adapted infant phenotypes. E A. Quinn.
8:45AM Add to calendar Models for Population History of the Tibetan Plateau: Toward an Integration of Archaeology and Genetics. Peiqi Zhang, Xinjun Zhang, Xiaoling Zhang, Xing Gao, Emilia Huerta-Sanchez, Nicolas Zwyns.
9:00AM Add to calendar Higher ventilatory response to hypoxia associates with higher oxygen saturation and lower hemoglobin concentration among ethnically Tibetan women residing above 3500m in Nepal. Esteban A. Moya, James J. Yu, Sienna R. Craig, Christina A. Buchanan, Frank L. Powell, Tatum S. Simonson, Cynthia M. Beall.
9:15AM Add to calendar DNA methylation changes are associated with an incremental ascent to high altitude. Ainash Childebayeva, Taylor Harman, Julien Weinstein, Jaclyn M. Goodrich, Dana C. Dolinoy, Trevor A. Day, Abigail W. Bigham, Tom Brutsaert.
9:30AM Add to calendar Population-genetic and functional investigation of high altitude adaptation in the Himalayan populations. Elena Arciero, Marc Haber, Thirsa Kraaijenbrink, . Asan, Michał Szpak, Pille Hallast, Nikolaos Panousis, Yuan Chen, Shane McCarthy, Irene Gallego Romero, Huanming Yang, Mark Jobling, George van Driem, Peter de Knijff, Qasim Ayub, Yali Xue, Chris Tyler-Smith.
9:45AM Discussant: Mark Aldenderfer
10:00AM Break
10:30AM Add to calendar Methods to infer the timing of admixture and selection in high altitude populations. Emilia Huerta-Sanchez, Xinjun Zhang, Kelsey Witt, Amy Ko, Rasmus Nielsen, Shuhua Xu, Asan Asan, Xin Jin.
10:45AM Add to calendar Insights into Native American adaptations to high altitude from modern and ancient genomes. Tábita Hünemeier, Cainã M. Couto-Silva, Renan B. Lemes, Cosimo Posth.
11:00AM Add to calendar Genomic adaptation to high altitude in the Andes. Abigail W. Bigham, Ainash Childebayeva, Julien Weinstein, Melisa Kiyamu, Gianpietro Elías, Maria Rivera-Chira, Fabiola Leon-Valerde, Frank S. Lee, Tom D. Brutsaert.
11:15AM Add to calendar Behavioral adaptations to life in the interior high Andes, 9--7ka. Randall Haas, Tammy Buonasera, Jennifer Chen, Jelmer Eerkens, Sarah Noe, Glendon Parker, Kevin Smith, Carlos Viviano, James Watson.
11:30AM Add to calendar High altitude adaptations in gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada). Noah Snyder-Mackler, Kenneth L. Chiou, Mareike C. Janiak, Amanda D. Melin, Jacinta C. Beehner, Thore J. Bergman, Amy Lu.
11:45AM Add to calendar Integrative studies of altitude adaptation: Cross-population genomic and physiological analyses from Tibet and Peru. Erica C. Heinrich, Jeremy E. Orr, Dillion Gilbertson, Cecilia Anza-Ramirez, Pamela N. DeYoung, James Yu, Esteban A. Moya, Matea A. Djokic, Noemi Corante, Gustavo Vizcardo-Galindo, Jose L. Macarlupu, Eduardo Gaio, Frank L. Powell, Atul Malhotra, Francisco C. Villafuerte, Tatum S. Simonson.
12:00PM Discussant: Lars Fehren-Schmitz