Centre for Ancient Environmental Genomics

The Centre for Ancient Environmental Genomics (CAEG) aims to employ ancient environmental genomics to enhance our understanding of ecological and evolutionary phenomena over extensive spans of space and time. This endeavour seeks to provide essential insights for preserving biodiversity and devising strategies to mitigate climate change.

Assistant professor Mikkel Winther Pedersen sampling in cave.

The field of ancient environmental DNA is relatively new, offering significant untapped potential for advancing this exciting area of research. However, progress in this field is currently hindered by the absence of robust methods, both laboratory and computationally, necessary to analyse and assemble extensive genomic datasets on a population scale across different geological periods and geographical locations. Read more about the centre below.




Introduction: Genetic diversity plays a crucial role in enabling species to adapt to changing environments and is essential for bolstering ecosystem resilience in the face of environmental disruptions. The Centre for Ancient Environmental Genomics (CAEG) has a mission to use ancient environmental genomics to enhance our comprehension of ecological and evolutionary processes over vast temporal and spatial scales. This knowledge contributes significantly to biodiversity preservation and strategies for mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Historical Perspective: Throughout the history of life on Earth, ecosystems have undergone transformations. The fossil record reveals the loss of numerous species and a substantial portion of genetic diversity within contemporary ecosystems. While fossilized remains offer insights into individual species, the recovery of billions of ancient environmental DNA (eDNA) fragments from a mere gram of sedimentary deposits can shed light on the diverse array of organisms that coexisted at a particular time and location. Accessing this information empowers us to reconstruct past dynamics of intricate biological systems in unprecedented detail, spanning from individual genes to entire ecosystems, across temporal and spatial scales spanning thousands to millions of years.

Unlocking Potential: In theory, sedimentary deposits worldwide harbour a wealth of eDNA resources. However, realizing this potential necessitates the development of novel techniques. CAEG aims to establish a core facility to expand the array of sediment types from which eDNA can be extracted. Additionally, CAEG will pioneer new mathematical and statistical algorithms to address fundamental questions about the shifts in the functions and dynamics of species and ecosystems over time. Importantly, this core facility will be made accessible to the broader scientific community.





















The Centre for Ancient Environmental Genomics are supported by the Danish National Research Foundation.

Logo - Danish National Research Foundation










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Principal investigators

Centre staff


Name Title Phone E-mail
Fernandez Guerra, Antonio Assistant Professor - Tenure Track +4535332597 E-mail
Garrett Vieira, Filipe Jorge Research Consultant +4535334099 E-mail
Johannsen, Magnus Academic Research Staff +4535330420 E-mail
Kjær, Kurt H. Professor +4530589730 E-mail
Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand Associate Professor +4535325933 E-mail
Larsen, Nicolaj Krog Professor +4520693350 E-mail
Olsen, Line Research Consultant +4535334652 E-mail
Pedersen, Mikkel Winther Assistant Professor - Tenure Track +4535321505 E-mail
Prohaska, Ana Assistant Professor - Tenure Track   E-mail
Ramsøe, Abigail Daisy Postdoc +4535336303 E-mail
Sand, Karina Krarup Svenninggaard Associate Professor +4535320223 E-mail
Sikora, Martin Associate Professor +4593565403 E-mail
Vinner, Lasse Senior Consultant +4535321330 E-mail
Willerslev, Eske Professor +4528751309 E-mail