Ever since becoming an atheist at the age of eight, I have been interested in scientific explanations for the big questions like “where did humans come from”. However, I bimbled along at school trying to keep my options open, not really knowing what I wanted to do. I liked statistics and numbers, biology and languages and tried to keep all three options open as long as I could. I went to Nottingham University to do maths but found the step up to university level too much and switched to a joint honours in Pharmacology and Zoology. At that time the best career option seemed to be teaching and I completed a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) from the same university before trying to find a job as a biology teacher. Unfortunately such posts were hard to find in the early 1980s in England so I ended up teaching mainly Mathematics, with a little biology and then, in my second year, computer studies.
The brief exposure to programming I received whilst training to teach computer studies was sufficient to inspire an early career change and I applied to join British Airways (BA) as a programmer. BA had a program where they specifically took in graduates with no computer experience to train them up their way and this turned out to be the ideal entry point for a thirty year (still on going) career in Information Technology. See this link for more about my IT work.
Return to Academia
After the wonderful birth of our 4th child, Rozalija, with the help of a birthing tub at home soon after my son planting rekindled curiosity in my mind about human evolution – he asked me about the origin of fire on bonfire night just a few weeks earlier – I took an renewed interest in human evolution. I read about Elaine Morgan and the so-called “aquatic ape hypothesis” and I couldn’t see why the idea had been ignored for so long. So, upon the encouragement of my lovely wife, Lesley, I returned to University College London (UCL) to do a Master’s degree in Human Evolution and Behaviour in 2000 and see if I could find out.
It was a fantastic year and I really enjoyed it. I dare say Mark Collard, Volker Sommer and Leslie Aiello didn’t enjoy my time there so much as I asked them endless awkward questions about the damned “aquatic ape” but I ended up passing with a distinction.
I wanted to continue my studies but we really couldn’t afford to do so in South East England with a huge mortgage paid for by a pretty lucrative salary teaching database technology to customers of Microsoft, Sybase, Learning Tree and many others. So, we made the decision to emigrate to Australia. At the time the exchange rate and the cost of housing really made the move favourable and we moved to Perth, Western Australia, where I enrolled at the University of Wester Australia (UWA) to do a PhD.
It’s been a very frustrating journey but – to cut a long story short – I finally completed in March 2015 and submitted. The thesis was passed “with substantive revisions” – which means I have to re-write sections of the thesis to address criticisms from two of the referees. I am currently (December 2015) going through that process and I hope to resubmit early next year.
I now try to split my time 50:50 between science and computing and I’m always looking for ways to combine them.
Kuliukas AV, Bipedal Wading in Hominoidae past and present (Masters Thesis, UCL, 2000) (PDF Here.)
Kuliukas AV, Wading for Food: The Driving Force of the Evolution of Bipedalism?. Nutrition and Health 16:267-289, (2002).
Kuliukas AV, Milne N, Fournier PA, The relative cost of bent-hip bent-knee walking is reduced in water. Homo 60:479-488, (2009).
Kuliukas, AV (2011). A Wading Component in the Origin of Hominin Bipedalism. In: Vaneechoutte, M , Verhaegen, M , Kuliukas, AV (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel)
Kuliukas, AV , Morgan, E (2011). Aquatic scenarios in the thinking on human evolution: What are they and how do they compare?. In: Vaneechoutte, M , Verhaegen, M , Kuliukas, AV (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel)
Kuliukas AV, (2011). Langdon’s Critique of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: It’s Final Refutation, or Just Another Misunderstanding?. In: Vaneechoutte M, Verhaegen M, Kuliukas AV, (eds.), (2011). Was Man More Aquatic In The Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypothesis Of Human Evolution. Bentham (Basel)
Franklin, D , Cardini, A , Flavel, A , Kuliukas, AV , Marks, MK , Hart, R , Oxnard, CE , O’Higgins, P Concordance of traditional osteometric and volume-rendered MSCT interlandmark cranial measurements. Int J Leg Med 127:505-520, (2013).
Kuliukas, AV Wading Hypotheses of the Origin of Human Bipedalism. Human Evolution 28 (3-4):213-236, (2013).
Kuliukas, AV Removing the “hermetic seal” from the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis: Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution. Advances in Anthropology 4:164-167, (2014).
Kuliukas, AV , Kuliukas, LJ , Flavel, A , Franklin, D Female Pelvic Shape: Distinct Types or Nebulous Cloud? British Journal of Midwifery 23 (7): 490-497, (2015).
Kuliukas, AV (2015). PhD Thesis : A Wading Component in the Origin of Hominid Bipedalism? (PDF here)
Video Recorded Talks
Click here for a list of some of my talks that have been uploaded.