Ancient DNA

Over the past 25 years, ancient DNA research has maintained a consistently high profile in scientific journals and in the public domain. This is partly owing to appreciation of the attendant technical and methodological challenges, as well as the spectacular, and often controversial, claims that have characterised the field. In addition, ancient DNA work is often associated with charismatic animals such as the woolly mammoth, dodo, and Tasmanian tiger.

Most of our research into ancient DNA involves the analysis of sequence data. We do not have the laboratory infrastructure for processing ancient samples, but instead work with international collaborators who have such facilities.

Recent projects

Ancient mitogenomes
  • Evaluating the impact of post-mortem damage in ancient DNA: A theoretical approach
  • Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans
  • Bayesian estimation of substitution rates from ancient DNA sequences with low information content
  • Using genetic evidence to evaluate four palaeoanthropological hypotheses for the timing of Neanderthal and Modern Human origins
  • Analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes from extinct and extant rhinoceroses reveals lack of phylogenetic resolution
  • Accommodating the effect of ancient DNA damage on inferences of demographic histories
  • Intraspecific phylogenetic analysis of Siberian woolly mammoths using complete mitochondrial genomes