Evolutionary Genetics

  • Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions

    This project explores the history of chickens, the world’s most widespread and abundant domestic animal. By integrating the research interests and expertise of scientists with those of scholars in the arts and humanities, we will investigate the origins and dispersal of domestic chickens and their role in human culture in the past, present, and future. […]

  • Deciphering dog domestication through a combined ancient DNA and geometric morphometric approach

    Research into early animal domestication has now broadly established the geographic and temporal origins of the major livestock species. Dogs remain an enigma, however, not only because they were the first domestic animal and the only domesticate whose appearance precedes the emergence of settled agriculture, but also because decades of archaeological and genetic research have […]

  • Unifying Domestication and Evolutionary Biology through Ancient DNA

    This project takes advantage of revolutionary genetic technologies to characterise the nuclear genomes from ancient animal remains. By combining the resolution of thousands of DNA markers with the time depth of archaeology, this project aims to fulfill the potential of DNA to address fundamental questions regarding domestication. More specifically, we will address key unanswered questions regarding the spatiotemporal pattern and […]

  • Genetic Variation of Namibian Populations

    Namibia, a country in South-west Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the few Southern African countries where hunter-gatherer, pastoralist and farmer lifestyles all coexist. This makes Namibia a very interesting place to study the interactions that occur between groups with different lifestyles. Working in collaboration with Dr Ockie Oosthuizen and Erica Oosthuizen, in 2010 and 2012 […]

  • The Genetic History of Europe

    The European continent has a complex human evolutionary history. The first modern humans are believed to have entered Europe some 40,000 years ago, at a time when Neanderthals were the predominant Homo species (or subspecies). In the subsequent millennia a series of environmental and climatic fluctuations have occurred, which caused much of the flora and fauna of […]