Archaeogenomics group

In our group we’re interested in using (ancient) DNA as a tool to answer a wide range of questions in ecology, evolution, and archaeology.

    Bastiaan, Oliver, Agata, Giada and Anneke in full gear during an aDNA lab cleaning day.
    Bastiaan, Oliver, Agata, Giada and Anneke in full gear during an aDNA lab cleaning day.

    About the group

    We study spatial and temporal changes in populations and species over hundreds to thousands of years, with a specific focus on human induced change and historic trade patterns. We primarily work on animals – ranging from fish to birds to mammals – and also have some projects focusing on plants.

    Our methods focus on whole genome (shotgun) resequencing, metabarcoding and occasionally we’ll use reduced representation (hybridization capture) sequencing, or single marker PCR. Our work greatly benefits from the excellent infrastructure and expertise we have available locally, including the Norwegian Sequencing Centre, the CEES labs and the ancient DNA laboratory. We really enjoy collaborating closely with people with specialties in other disciplines, including archaeologists and paleontologists.

    We currently have several ongoing projects investigating dispersal and adaptation of biodiversity through human movement, trade and domestication in Viking Age and medieval northern Europe. In addition, we work on the population genomics of Atlantic puffins and use sedimentary ancient DNA to reconstruct past environments. We are further involved in collaborative projects on ancient dispersal and adaptation of New Zealand snapper, common beans and barley.

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    Latest news

    New paper from Giada!


    Congratulations to Giada for publishing another one of her PhD papers!

    Variola virus genome sequenced from an eighteenth-century museum specimen supports the recent origin of smallpox

    Zoom lab meetings and summer


    Aye we've been really bad in keeping the site updated! But no fear we are still going strong :-) Everyone got used to working from home and in the past 2 months we have been slowly allowed back into the labs and even into the offices. Just as the rest of the world we have become experts in lab zoom meetings, but thankfully now also have occasional non-digital meetings again. In the mean time data is being produced and analysed, papers are being written, submitted and revised, grants applied for, etc. Have a nice summer everyone!

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    New paper published


    Even's last paper of his PhD just came out in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Congratulations! We use metagenomic shotgun sequencing to look at intra- and interspecific variation of the intestinal microbiome in a range of gadoid species and ecotypes.

    New papers published


    Our new paper on the potential impacts and societal consequences of the historic walrus ivory trade from Norse Greenland just came online. A really neat collaborative effort with James Barrett from the  University of Cambridge.

    And also another paper to which our PhD student Oliver contributed, on the metagenomics of dental calculus in ancient Egyptian baboons.

    Welcome to Lane and Emma


    This month, we can welcome both Lane Atmore and Emma Falkeid to our group! Lane obtained her MSc from the University of Cambridge, working on adaptation and selection in  human populations using whole genome sequence data. She will work on her PhD here, using ancient DNA from Atlantic herring samples to investigate trade and human impacts as part of our SEACHANGES ITN network.  Emma has just finished her Bachelor degree, and will be working on her MSc, studying ancient Atlantic tuna samples (also together with Lane) in a collaborative project with Svein Nielsen from the Museum of Cultural History.

    Welcome to Lulu


    A BIG welcome to Lourdes Garcia!  Lourdes recently started with us to do her PhD. Originally from Mexico, Lourdes obtained her MSc degree from Lund University, where she studied population structure in eelgrasses. She will be working on the analyses of ancient DNA from Atlantic cod, and is part of our SEACHANGES ITN network.

    New paper


    Excited about our latest paper "Not a limitless resource: ethics and guidelines for destructive sampling of archaeofaunal remains" published in Royal Society Open Science! And special congratulations to Albina who came up with the idea for this paper and did the majority of the work. If you do destructive sampling of animals remains you should absolutely read this!

    Fieldwork in Armenia


    Anneke just came back from an archaeological field trip to Armenia for one of our newest projects, in collaboration with among others: the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the National Academy of Sciences in Yerevan and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen. The cave site Aghitu-3 has proven to be rich in artefacts and bone from up to 39 000 years ago! Our aim will be to uncover something even less easily spotted: the ancient use of plants by the analysis of plant DNA present in the cave sediment.

    The archaeological site Aghitu-3 as seen from the cave.
    The archaeological excavation at Aghitu-3 as seen from the cave


    New paper by Oliver


    Congratulations to Oliver for getting another paper from his MSc published!

    Stipend for Giada


    Congratulations to Giada for receiving a Kristine Bonnevie Travel Stipend for a research visit to Michael Campana at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in the USA!  


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    Published Mar. 21, 2018 11:46 AM - Last modified Oct. 6, 2020 9:55 PM