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Ancient DNA



Lang EN Workshop language is English

Prof. Daniel Wegmann, UNIFR
Prof. Laurent Excoffier, UNIBE


Prof. Eline Lorenzen, Natural History Museum of Denmark (DK)
Prof. Joachim Burger, University of Mainz (DE)
Prof. Beth Shapiro, University of California Santa Cruz (US)
Prof. Dan Bradley, Trinity College Dublin (IE)
Prof. Maria Avila, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MX)
Prof. Benjamin Peter, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary anthropology (DE)
Prof. Verena Schünemann, UNIBAS (alternative)
Prof. Greg Larson, University of Oxford (UK) (alternative)


While the sequencing of DNA extracted from fossils has been attempted since 1983, several technological revolutions such as rigorous lab practices and the availability of next-generation sequencing now make it possible to obtain high-quality ancient DNA data for many organisms. This opens up an unprecedented opportunity to include data from multiple time points when studying evolutionary processes such as past demographic events or the action of selection. In this workshop we will explore the range of evolutionary questions that will benefit from ancient DNA, and discuss important considerations in designing and executing research projects using ancient DNA, as well as best practices in analyzing ancient DNA data.

While the ancient DNA field had arguably its largest impact on the study of human evolution, we want to focus on its broader implications: how can ancient DNA help to disentangle the effect of selection and demography? How should modern population genomic analyses be tailored to be applicable to ancient DNA? What are appropriate samples sizes for ancient DNA to make a real contribution? And the ultimate question for participants: would the inclusion of ancient DNA data make a difference in answering my evolutionary research questions?

In order to address and discuss these questions, we will bring together renowned international experts working with ancient DNA in various organisms.Each speaker will be giving 1) a full length talk on his/her latest research, 2) a full length talk on his/her view how the ancient DNA field will contribute to our understanding of evolutionary processes, and 3) chair a breakout session discussing one of the main questions we hope to address during this workshop. Prior to these discussions, we will also offer a hands-on session focusing on the analysis of ancient DNA data for a full day.

This workshop is aimed at students in evolutionary biology that are using or are planning to use genetic data for their research. All participants will have the opportunity to present their work either in a short talk or a poster, and to discuss questions regarding their work with the invited experts and organizers.

Note: this will be the third installment of this course after two successful rounds in 2018 and 2022 that were evaluated very positively.



Sunday: Arrival
Monday: Hands-on session
Tuesday: Research talks by invited speakers and participants
1) Talks by invited speakers on how ancient DNA will contribute to our understanding of Evolution.
2) Break-out sessions;
Thursday: Synthesis & Social hike with picnic lunch.


Gemmi, Leukerbad VS


Reimbursements for CUSO StarOmics students: Train ticket, 2°class, half-fare from your institution to the place of the activity.

Reimbursement of your travel tickets can be asked online through your MyCUSO. See HERE for the procedure.

For any question concerning reimbursement please contact the CUSO StarOmics coordinator Corinne Dentan


Registration is CLOSE

Deadline for registration: TBA



Deadline for registration
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