Claudio Ottoni

Academic interests

I joined CEES as a post-doctoral fellow in August 2016 to work on the MedPlag (“The medieval plagues: ecology, transmission modalities and routes of the infections”) and COMPI (“comparative infection biology”) projects.

My main expertise lies in the field of biomolecular archaeology and paleogenetics, in particular the use of ancient DNA to address questions about past human and animal populations. I received my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in 2008, and my project was focused on the analysis of mtDNA in ancient and modern human samples of populations from North Africa. I have also explored the diagenetic trajectories of ancient biomolecules in thermally damaged bones by analysing the degradation of DNvA and collagen.

As a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Archaeological Sciences of the KU-Leuven University (Belgium), from 2009 till 2016, I have been conducting ancient DNA studies on the domestication of pigs and the demographic changes in an ancient human population from a Roman city in Turkey (Sagalassos). In 2012 and 2014 I was a visiting fellow at the Institute Jacques Monod of Paris, where together with the team of Paleogenomics and Epigenomics I conducted a study on cat domestication. 

Tags: Population Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Ancient DNA


Ottoni C, Rasteiro R, Willet R, Claeys J, Talloen P, Van de Vijver K, Chikhi L, Poblome J, Decorte R (2016) Comparing maternal genetic variation across two millennia reveals the demographic history of an ancient human population in southwest Turkey. R Soc Open Sci, 3, 150250. doi:10.1098/rsos.150250

Ottoni C, Flink LG, Evin A, Geörg C, De Cupere B, Van Neer W, Bartosiewicz L, Linderholm A, Barnett R, Peters J, Decorte R, Waelkens M, Vanderheyden N, Ricaut FX, Hoelzel AR, Mashkour M, Mohaseb Karimlu AF, Sheikhi Seno S, Daujat J, Brock F, Pinhasi R, Hongo H, Perez-Enciso M, Rasmussen M, Frantz L, Megens HJ, Crooijmans R, Groenen M, Arbuckle B, Benecke R, Strand Vidarsdottir U, Burger J, Cucchi T, Dobney K, Larson G.  (2013) Pig domestication and human-mediated dispersal in western Eurasia revealed through ancient DNA and geometric morphometrics. Mol Biol Evol, 30 (4), 824-32. doi:10.1093/molbev/mss261

Ottoni C, Ricaut FX, Vanderheyden N, Brucato N, Waelkens M, Decorte R (2011) Mitochondrial analysis of a Byzantine population reveals the differential impact of multiple historical events in South Anatolia. Eur J Hum Genet 19: 571-576. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.230

Ottoni C, Larmuseau MHD, Vanderheyden N, Martínez-Labarga C, Primativo G, Biondi G, Decorte R, Rickards O (2011) Deep into the roots of the Libyan Tuareg: a genetic survey of their paternal heritage. Am J Phys Anthr 145 (1): 118-124. doi:10.1002/ajpa.21473

Ottoni C, Primativo G, Kashani BH, Achilli A, Martinez-Labarga C, Biondi G, Torroni A, Rickards O (2010) Mitochondrial haplogroup H1 in North Africa: An Early Holocene arrival from Iberia. Plos One 5 (10), e13378. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013378

Ottoni C, Koon H, Collins MJ, Rickards O, Craig OE (2009) Preservation of ancient DNA in (thermally) damaged archaeological animal bones. Naturwissenschaften 96 (2): 267-278. doi: 10.1007/s00114-008-0478-5

Ottoni C, Martínez-Labarga C, De Angelis F, Trucchi E, Contini I, Biondi G, Di Lernia S, Loogväli EL, Pennarun E, Achillli A, Rickards O (2009) First genetic insight into Libyan Tuareg: a maternal perspective. Ann Hum Genet 73 (4): 438-448. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2009.00526.x


  • Larmuseau, Maarten H. D. & Ottoni, Claudio (2018). Mediterranean Y-chromosome 2.0—why the Y in the Mediterranean is still relevant in the postgenomic era. Annals of Human Biology.  ISSN 0301-4460.  45(1), s 20- 33 . doi: 10.1080/03014460.2017.1402956
  • Namouchi, Amine; Guellil, Meriam; Kersten, Oliver; Hänsch, Stephanie; Ottoni, Claudio; Schmid, Boris Valentijn; Pacciani, Elsa; Quaglia, Luisa; Vermunt, Marco; Bauer, Egil Lindhart; Derrick, Michael; Jensen, Anne Østergaard; Kacki, Sacha; Cohn Jr., Samuel; Stenseth, Nils Christian & Bramanti, Barbara (2018). Integrative approach using Yersinia pestis genomes to revisit the historical landscape of plague during the Medieval Period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  ISSN 0027-8424.  115(50), s E11790- E11797 . doi: 10.1073/pnas.1812865115 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Wrobel, Agnieszka; Ottoni, Claudio; Leo, Jack Christopher & Linke, Dirk (2018). pYR4 From a Norwegian Isolate of Yersinia ruckeri Is a Putative Virulence Plasmid Encoding Both a Type IV Pilus and a Type IV Secretion System. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.  ISSN 2235-2988.  8, s 1- 14 . doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00373 Full text in Research Archive. Show summary
  • Ottoni, Claudio; Van Neer, Wim; De Cupere, Bea; Daligault, Julien; Guimaraes, Silvia; Peters, Joris; Spassov, Nikolai; Prendergast, Mary E.; Boivin, Nicole; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Becker, Cornelia; Benecke, Norbert; Boroneant, Adina; Buitenhuis, Hijlke; Chahoud, Jwana; Crowther, Alison; Llorente, Laura; Manaseryan, Nina; Monchot, Herve; Onar, Vedat; Osypińska, Marta; Putelat, Olivier; Quintana Morales, Eréndira M.; Studer, Jacqueline; Wierer, Ursula; Decorte, Ronny; Grange, Thierry & Eva-Maria, Geigl (2017). The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world. Nature Ecology & Evolution.  ISSN 2397-334X.  1 . doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0139 Show summary
  • Primativo, Giuseppina; Ottoni, Claudio; Biondi, Gianfranco; Serafino, Sara; Martínez-Labarga, Cristina; Larmuseau, Maarten H.D.; Scardi, Michele; Decorte, Ronny & Rickards, Olga (2017). Bight of Benin: a maternal perspective of four Beninese populations and their genetic implications on the American populations of African ancestry. Annals of Human Genetics.  ISSN 0003-4800.  81(2), s 78- 90 . doi: 10.1111/ahg.12186
  • Wrobel, Agnieszka; Ottoni, Claudio; Leo, Jack Christopher; Gulla, Snorre & Linke, Dirk (2017). The repeat structure of two paralogous genes, Yersinia ruckeri invasin (yrInv) and a “Y. ruckeri invasin-like molecule”, (yrIlm) sheds light on the evolution of adhesive capacities of a fish pathogen.. Journal of Structural Biology.  ISSN 1047-8477.  201(2), s 171- 183 . doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2017.08.008

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  • Wrobel, Agnieszka; Ottoni, Claudio; Leo, Jack Christopher & Linke, Dirk (2018). The repeat structure of two paralogous genes, Yersinia ruckeri invasin (yrInv) and a “Y. ruckeri invasin-like molecule”, (yrIlm) sheds light on the evolution of adhesive capacities of a fish pathogen.
  • Wrobel, Agnieszka; Saragliadis, Athanasios; Leo, Jack Christopher; Ottoni, Claudio & Linke, Dirk (2018). Type Ve autotransporters in Yersinia ruckeri.
  • Wrobel, Agnieszka; Leo, Jack Christopher; Ottoni, Claudio; Gulla, Snorre & Linke, Dirk (2017). Comparative structure-function analysis of adhesins from different Yersinia ruckeri strains.

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Published Sep. 6, 2016 1:51 PM - Last modified June 16, 2017 11:32 AM