Ancient DNA is sequence information from the bones or tissues of organisms that come from historic or prehistoric collections. My work principally applies to prehistoric material, including skeletal material from Neandertals and Denisovans. Ancient DNA evidence on many kinds of organisms has become an important window into evolution.
Ghostbusters of human origins
Humans tend to mix and interact with each other. Geneticists are once again starting to take that seriously, changing their view of our origins.
Solving the mystery of the Red Deer Cave people
New DNA evidence is revealing the genetic relationships of ancient groups from southern China, showing how they were connected to living people across the region.
The top 10 discoveries about ancient people from DNA in 2022
Research on ancient genomes has moved way beyond population mixture into broader questions about how ancient people lived and interacted with their environments.
Ancient genetic introgression between cave hyenas and spotted hyenas
Describing the results of genomic work by Michael Westbury and collaborators, including ancient hyena genomes from Eurasia and North America.
Research highlight: Making ancient DNA more ethical
I helped to draft a statement for the American Society of Human Genetics on responsible research on ancient DNA.
Why does ethical ancient DNA sampling seem so complicated?
Working with communities can be challenging but is essential to build a strong science of the past.
The genetic ancestry of modern lions
A comparison of surviving populations of lions in Africa and India with extinct lions, including cave lions from Siberia and Yukon.
Chicken ancient DNA and artificial selection during medieval times
A study on change in European chickens over time illuminates the challenge of studying selection in populations with immigration from other sources.
Research highlight: Use ancient remains more wisely
In this contribution, Keolu Fox and I consider what is necessary to build a sustainable science of ancient DNA.
Geneticists work to understand how skeletons wound up in a mysterious Himalayan lake
Reviewing new work that reveals migrants from several historic periods in the skeletons surrounding this lake in India.