Session at SMBE 2016

Emma, Helena, Cristina and Torsten organize a session at this year’s SMBE conference, 3-7 July 2016, Gold Coast, Australia


Ancient DNA and the effects of human innovation on genomes

Human innovation – such as the invention of the wheel, the use of boats and the Neolithization process – led to major migrations as well as changes in lifestyle throughout history. Humans encountered new ecosystems, domesticated plants and animals, and were faced with new pathogens. These changes did not just affect the genome of our species, but also the genomes of a number of the species around us. Examples of such effects include the development of domesticated species, the extinction of wild fauna, the strong selective sweep causing lactase persistence, and human population growth as well as admixture among populations during secondary contact. Inferring past events from modern populations has its limitations, but the recent technological revolution in the field of ancient genomics offers the unique opportunity to study populations before, during and after these events. Using the temporal data provided by ancient DNA, a population’s demographic history, the general development of genetic diversity as well as allele frequencies at particular candidate loci can be studied. This symposium will gather researchers working on the population history of humans, animals, plants and other organisms as well as their interactions using ancient DNA.

Invited Speakers: Christina Warinner – University of Oklahoma and Pontus Skoglund – Harvard Medical School