What would you do if you could travel back in time? In the field of human population genomics, that is the question we are now asking ourselves, since ancient DNA technology has made it possible to trace evolution—genetic change through time—directly. This starting to bring about a new era of genomics that promises to revolutionize our view of many species, and as we are usually prone to, we have started with ourselves. Pontus Skoglund's laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute is committed to applying and developing ancient genomics to understand past human diversity, focusing on central evolutionary episodes and their impact on human societies and health.


2017-               Group Leader, Francis Crick Institute
2014-2017      Postdoctoral researcher, Harvard Medical School
2013-2014      Postdoctoral researcher, Uppsala University
2009-2013      PhD Evolutionary genetics, Uppsala University, [Thesis]
2007-2009      MSc Biology, Uppsala University
2004-2007      BSc Biology, Umeå University


2017/10 - Led by Lars Fehren-Schmitz, our paper on the first ancient DNA from Rapanui (Easter Island) is out in Current Biology, revealing no Native American ancestry in prehistoric people. News coverage in Science, Reuters, and New York Times.

2017/09 - Our paper on ancient genomic DNA analysis of 15 prehistoric Africans is out in Cell. Check out Pontus' podcast appearance with Cell Editor Robert Kruger, and coverage in New York Times, BBC News, Smithsonian magazine, and other news outlets.

Photo: Jessica Thompson

2017/07 - Coverage of our work on ancient African DNA in Science and Nature.

2017/07 - I join the discussion about new evidence for the domestication of dogs in Nature.

2017/05 - I join the discussion about the Bell Beaker-associated population transformation in Britain in Nature.

2017/04 - I join the discussion about a claim for an extremely early peopling of the Americas in Nature.

2016/12 - I join the discussion about 10,600 year-old DNA from North America in Nature and Science.

2016/10 - Our paper about ~3,000 year-old ancient DNA from Vanuatu and Tonga and what it reveals about the peopling of the Pacific is published in Nature. Media coverage in The Guardian, ABC NewsScienceVetenskapsradion and others.

2016/09 - I join the discussion about the spread of domestic cats over the world in Nature.

2016/03 - Discussion about admixture between Neandertals and modern humans in Science.

2016/02 - Coverage of our analysis of migrations into Africa in New York Times, Nature, Science and Scientific American.

2015/12 - Quoted in BBC News 2015: the year in review in science and environment.

2015/12 - Our paper on an ancient wolf genome and its implications for dog origins was highlighted as one of the Top 9 Science stories of the year by the Smithsonian magazine, and, was number 20 on the top list of the year by Science News

2015/10 - I join the discussion about the first ancient African genome in Science.

2015/08 - Our paper about a previously unknown genetic link between indigenous people in the Amazon and Australasia is published in Nature

Media coverage in BBC News, NBC News, New York Times, The Guardian, TimeNature, Fox Newsand others. 

Video interview by Harvard Medical School press office:

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2015/04 - Our paper about a 35,000 year-old wolf genome and the origin of dogs is published in Current Biology. Scientific news features in Nature by Ewen Callaway and Science by David Grimm. Media coverage in The Washington PostNew York Times, LA Times, BBC News 1, BBC News 2, The Guardian, Reuters and others.

Credit: Love Dalen

2015/02 - Discussion on Indo-European origins in Science.

Credit: Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard2015/01 - Workshop on Indo-European origins organized by the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard.

Credit: Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard

2014/12 - Quoted in Science discussing early African population history.

2014/01 - Quoted in Science discussing agricultural migrations.

2014 - Interview in Swedish by Emil Nilsson for Biotopia:

2014 - Interview in P3 morgonpasset (Swedish)

2014 - My PhD thesis was awarded the 2014 Linnaeus prize from the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala.

2013 - Our study on figuring out the biological sex of ancient human remains (Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013) was chosen as a Research Highlight in Nature.

2013 - Discussing possible prehistoric connections between Indian and Australian populations in Vetenskapsradion (Swedish).

2012 - Coverage of our study of Khoe-San population history in southern Africa and evidence for natural selection in the ancestors of modern humans (Science, 2012): Natureinterview with Carina Schlebusch on South African TV (in Afrikaans), interviews in Swedish Radio (1,2).

2012 - Discussing Indo-European language origins in relation to genetics in Vetenskapsradion (Swedish).

2012 - Our analysis of ancient genomic DNA from Stone Age farmers and hunter-gatherers (Science, 2012) was featured by NatureScience (news & analysispress conferencepodcast), international new outlets (e.g. Wall Street JournalBBCMSNBCWashington PostLA TimesScience newsHistory.comSpiegelLe Figaro), and Swedish media (radio 1 23,TV, (DN1DN2SvDGPUNTNy TeknikSydsvenskan).

2012 - Coverage of a Woolly mammoth microsatellite analysis (Mol Ecol, 2012) in BBC.

2011 - Coverage of the controversies surrounding dog origins in ScienceNOW.

2011 - Our analysis of signatures of archaic human ancestry in modern populations (PNAS, 2011) was featured by several Swedish (DNDN2SvDUNTMetroVK) and international (Science dailyTelegraphCBS newsWiredMSNBCDaily Mailder SpiegelTimes of India,National Geographic) news outlets.

2011 - Results from a study on the history of Native American dogs (BMC Evol Biol, 2011) was featured in the press of Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and a news report (both in Spanish).