Research Projects - Scientist
I am a biochemist and archeologist by training who studies human development on a molecular level. During the last 10,000 years, humankind has been in steady interaction with the environment, exposed to pathogens and dependent on exploiting food sources that were shaped by landscape, climate and life style. My main research interest is to investigate how pathogens and changes in nutrition and subsistence strategies have shaped our genome over the last millennia. The underlying evolutionary processes also have important implications for modern disease genetics, e.g. in civilization and inflammatory diseases. I address my research questions by using ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. The combination of aDNA and genomic methodologies has considerably advanced the whole research field and allows us to trace molecular evolutionary changes through time, practically watching as they are happening.
I am head of the Kiel aDNA Laboratory that was established in 2008. I have developed capture and sequencing technologies that have made aDNA studies highly sensitive and their results considerably more reliable. Genomic analyses of smallest amounts of highly degraded DNA can now be carried out.
Dissertation - 2011, Kiel University