Special Event: Author + Geneticist Spencer Wells at Hotel Ella

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Who: Spencer Wells

What: The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey

Where: Hotel Ella, Goodall’s Kitchen

When: Wednesday, June 28 at 6:00pm

Free and open to the public. RSVP required.


UPDATE: This event is now full. Attendance is free, but to ensure guests have an intimate opportunity to engage with the author, attendance is limited to the first 75 RSVPs. Thank you for your interest!


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The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to partner with Hotel Ella for a special evening with bestselling author and geneticist Spencer Wells as part of Hotel Ella’s popular Salon Series. Wells will present his talk, The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey.

Art and style have been important components of Hotel Ella since the mansion was constructed at the turn of the 20th century. To honor the artistic roots of the property Hotel Ella presents a monthly Salon Series that features inspiring Austin creatives from all disciplines. Join us as Spencer Wells takes us on an epic journey that spans the globe, using DNA to trace the migration routes of our ancient ancestors and revealing the incredible tapestry of human diversity created along the way.  He will also discuss how the fledgling industry of consumer genomics, with its ability to empower “citizen scientists,” is helping to unearth new details about our shared history as a species.

Copies of Spencer’s book, The Journey of Man, will be available for sale, courtesy of BookPeople. Spencer will be signing books after his talk.


This event is free to attend, but space is limited and RSVP is required. Dinner and drinks will be available to purchase from Goodall’s Kitchen. Complimentary valet parking is also available.

Spencer Wells is a geneticist, anthropologist, author and entrepreneur. For over a decade he was an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and Director of the Genographic Project, which collected and analyzed DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet, in the process launching the consumer genomics industry. Wells graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has appeared in numerous documentary films and is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry, and Pandora’s Seed. His work has taken him to more than 100 countries, where he has collaborated with everyone from heads of government and Fortune 500 corporations, to tribal chieftains eking out a precarious living in places as remote as Chad, Tajikistan, and Papua New Guinea. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is founder and CEO of consumer genomics startup Insitome, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas, and owner of the iconic blues club Antone’s.