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 revolutionise 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. We want to understand the genomic past to benefit the genomic future.


2020/10 - Leo Speidel joins the lab as a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, jointly with University College London and the Hellenthal lab. Welcome Leo!

2020/10 - Marina Silva joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Marina!

2020/09 - Alexandre Gilardet joins the lab as a Bioinformatics data manager. Welcome Alexandre!

2020/07 - Pontus is named as one of six international Vallee Scholars in biomedicine by the Vallee Foundation, supporting the lab's research into human evolution and infectious disease.

2020/03 - Congratulations to Anders Bergström for the publication of the Sanger Institute-led project on 929 high-quality worldwide human genomes in Science.

2020/01 - David Stanton joins the lab on a Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoc secondment from his base at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Welcome Dave!

2019/12 - Maria Greco joins the lab as a visiting Principal Laboratory Scientist working on automation. Welcome Maria!

2019/10 - Mateja Hajdinjak joins the lab as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow. Welcome Mateja!

2019/10 - Discussion of a suggested homeland of modern humans in Science.

2019/10 - Kyriaki Anastasiadou joins the lab as a Laboratory Research Scientist. Welcome Kyriaki!

2019/10 - Pontus is awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Grant that will support a £1.7M project to study history and evolution in 1,000 ancient British genomes.

2019/09 - Pontus comments on epigenomic reconstructions of the unknown skeletal morphology of Denisovans in Nature and Science News.

2019/09 - Pontus is awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant that will support a €1.5M project studying convergent adaptation during agricultural transitions using ancient genomes.

2019/08 - Pontus comments on a new study on rainforest hunter-gatherer adaptations in Science.

2019/04 - Tom Booth joins the lab as a Senior Research Scientist. Welcome to Tom!

2019/01 - Frido Welker joins the lab as a visiting researcher. Welcome!

2018/12 - Isabelle Glocke joins the lab as a Senior Laboratory Research Scientist. Isabelle was previously at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology. Welcome!

2018/12 - Discussion of DNA from Stone Age chewing gum in The Atlantic.

2018/11 - Discussion of the importance of genetic diversity studies being extended to African populations in Nature.

2018/10 - Discussion of the new finding of a Denisovan-Neanderthal mixed ancestry individual in Nature.

2018/09 - Discussion of new findings of the genetic legacy of prehistoric Cave bears in New York Times.

2018/09 - New review paper with Iain Mathieson on the first decade of ancient genomics of modern humans out in Annual Reviews of Genomics and Human Genetics.

2018/09 - Tom Davy joins the lab as a PhD-student. Tom was previously at Imperial College. Welcome!

2018/05 - Pooja Swali joins the lab as a PhD-student. Pooja was previously at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Welcome!

2018/04 - Anders Bergström joins the lab as a postdoc. Anders was previously at the Sanger Institute. Welcome!

2018/04 - New correspondence out in Nature Genetics: "No evidence for unknown archaic ancestry in South Asia".

2018/04 - Pontus is featured in the New York Times article "The FBI and the Mystery of the Mummy's head"

2018/02 - Our study, headed by Mark Lipson, on a second wave of colonization into Remote Oceania, is out in Current Biology. News coverage in BBC, and Nature.

2018/02 - Perspective on the peopling of Scandinavia published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

2017/12 - The lab officially opens at the Francis Crick Institute.

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 News, Science, Vetenskapsradion 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, Time, Nature, Fox News, and others.

Video interview by Harvard Medical School press office:

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 Post, New 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.

2015/01 - 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

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): Nature, interview 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 Nature, Science (news & analysis, press conference, podcast), international new outlets (e.g. Wall Street Journal, BBC, MSNBC, Washington Post, LA Times, Science news, History.com, Spiegel, Le Figaro), and Swedish media (radio 1 2, 3,TV, (DN1, DN2, SvD, GP, UNT, Ny Teknik, Sydsvenskan).

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 (DN, DN2, SvD, UNT, Metro, VK) and international (Science daily, Telegraph, CBS news, Wired, MSNBC, Daily Mail, der Spiegel, Times 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).