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 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


    The Seachanges website has come online with details on the project organization and descriptions of the different research projects. The network takes a long-term perspective on human exploitation of marine vertebrates, with projects covering species from herring to sperm whale, timescales from decades to millennia, and all of Europe's seas and beyond! If you're interested in joining this network, you can express an early interest here. Be sure to also check out the eligibility criteria. The official hiring process will start from March 2019.

    This project is set to be funded by the European Union's EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No. 813383, subject to the final conclusion and signing of the Grant Agreement. The European Research Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.



    The Marie Curie innovative Training Network "Seachanges: Thresholds in human exploitation of marine vertebrates" was just funded! This project will train 15 PhD students on the interface between biology and archaeology and is headed by Dr. David Orton from the University of York. Bastiaan is beneficiary for Oslo and will supervise two PhD candidates who will investigate various fish species using aDNA. Sanne is also part of the ITN and helps out co-supervising PhD candidates who have their secondments at CEES. 


    Our paper on sexing Viking Age horses in Iceland has just been published! Congratulations and a great thanks to everyone who has contributed.


    Bastiaan returned from a field expedition in northern Norway, together with Stein-Erik Lauritzen from the University of Bergen. The aim was to collected sediments from a rather old cave deposit (estimated to be over 100K years old) for sedaDNA analyses to reconstruct the species composition of past communities. This is a bone-rich deposit and we found several macrofossils, amongst others a beautifully preserved polar bear claw bone.

    The cave team
    The cave team
    The deposit
    Polar bear claw


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    Published Mar. 21, 2018 11:46 AM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2019 8:52 PM