Willerslev Group researches human migration, evolution and disease evolution.
Section for GeoGenetics
The Section for GeoGenetic operates in the cross-field between genetics, geology and archaeology and uses genomic, metagenomic and mineralogy to study evolution, human-environment interaction, past climate- and environments, diseases, speciation and ecological processes, and animal domestication. The section uses state-of-the-art technologies to break scientific boundaries, and our research questions are founded on cross disciplinary research.
Our research aims are to improve current methodologies within ancient genomics by optimizing protocols and develop novel, fast computational and statistical tools in order to address important scientific questions. We accomplish this, using multi-disciplinary approaches both from the diverse research within the section as well as a range of collaborators. Our main techniques include DNA extraction and sequencing, bioinformatics, sedimentology, molecular geobiology Quaternary climate, and archaeology.
The first published ancient human genome:
Ancient human genome sequence of an extinct Palaeo-Eskimo: Rasmussen et al. 2010
Large scale genomics:
137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes: Damgaard, et al. 2018
Ancient human pathogen:
Early divergent strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 years ago – Rasmussen et al. 2015
See full list of publications
The group use shotgun sequenced ancient DNA and DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct past environments.
The group implements ancient DNA and genomic data to study the generation, distribution, and conservation of biodiversity, focusing on herpetofauna.
The group researches environmental DNA with biodiversity, conservation and forensic applications.
The Sikora Group works at the intersection of ancient genomics, population genetics and paleoepidemiology.
The Q-Group research clusters in glacial geology, stratigraphy, associated landscapes as well as zoo- archaeology and environmental DNA.
The Racimo Group use population genetic theory and ancient DNA to understand how adaptation and admixture occurred in the past.
The Korneliussen Group develop and implement state of the art methods and programs for analyses of genomic data.
The group investigates whether interactions between DNA and minerals could have had a contribution to the evolution of life.