Professor of Palaeogenomics
University of Copenhagen
"Population Palaeogenomics as a Window into the Legacy of the Black Death"
Abstract: Human populations have been shaped by past catastrophes, some of which may have left long-lasting signatures in our genomes. Although numerous tools have been developed that enable such signatures to be developed using genomic datasets generated from contemporary materials, an alternative approach that is becoming increasingly feasible is to harness the power of population palaeogenomics - i.e. sequencing of ‘population’ scale datasets using ancient samples, chosen to span relevant locations and periods of interest. We have been exploring the potential of such methods in several systems, including domestic animals and plants, as well as humans in the context of one of the most notable catastrophes in recorded history - the second plague pandemic. In this talk I showcase the power of the population palaeogenomic approach through introducing several of the systems that we have applied such methods to, with a principal focus on the consequences of the second plague pandemic (the Black Death).