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. 

Our laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute led by Pontus Skoglund (CV) is committed to applying and developing ancient genomics to understand evolution and the human past. We want to understand the genomic past to benefit the genomic future.

News

2024/01 - Our paper by Kyriaki Anastasiadou et al. on the first prehistoric case of Turner syndrome and 5 other ancient individuals with aneuploidies, detected with a new approach, out in Communications Biology. See a Crick news item, and press coverage at Nature, BBC, Science and Kathimerini.

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2023/12 - Our paper by Marina Silva et al. on an individual with Sarmatian-related ancestry in Roman Britain is out in Current Biology. See a Crick news item and press coverage in the BBC. 

2023/11- Pontus is awarded an ERC Consolidator grant for the lab to study dog and wolf evolution over 5 years, which will be funded through the UKRI's Horizon guarantee program.

2023/11 - Pontus is the winner of the Genetics Society's 2024 Balfour lecture.

2023/09 - Anastasia Brativnyk joins the lab as a PhD-student. Welcome Anastasia!

2023/07 - Congratulations to Dr. Pooja Swali for passing her PhD viva!

2023/07 - Congratulations to Dr. Tom Davy for passing his PhD viva!

2023/06 - Congratulations to Mia Williams who is now a Senior Laboratory Research Scientist in the lab!

2023/05 - Our paper by Pooja Swali et al. on 4,000 year old Yersinia pestis plague DNA from Britain is out in Nature Communications. Press coverage by The Crick, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, Sky News, The Times, Metro, The Independent, and Evening Standard Podcast

2023/03 - Our paper by Tom Davy et al. on natural selection in early European farmers is out in Current Biology. Press coverage by The Crick, New Scientist, and Science Daily. Scientific perspective article in Current Biology.

2023/02 - Pontus is a 2023 Blavatnik award honoree.  See a video of our lab's work on Youtube.

2023/01 - Mateja Hajdinjak moves to start her own independent lab as Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

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2022/11 - Sarah Johnston joins the lab as a Laboratory Research Scientist. Welcome Sarah!

2022/11 - Anders Bergström moves to start his own independent lab as Lecturer at University of East Anglia.

2022/10 - Our collaborative study on the oldest human DNA from Britain together with the Natural History Museum and UCL, with population genetic analyses by our own Mateja Hajdinjak, is out in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

2022/09 - Jessica Peto and Alexandre Gilardet leave the lab to start as PhD-students at University of Exeter and Stockholm University, respectively.

2022/07 - Francesca Tait joins the lab as a Laboratory Research Scientist. Welcome Frankie!

2022/06 - Our paper by Anders Bergström et al. on dog origins and natural selection in Ice Age wolf genomes is out in Nature. Read a summary in our Research Briefing. Press coverage in New York Times, Science, The Guardian, The Crick and New Scientist.

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2021/12 - Our collaborative paper with University of Vienna was cited in the motivation for "Ancient soil DNA" as one of nine runner-ups to Science's breakthrough of the year 2021.

2021/12 - Helen Fewlass is awarded an EMBO Postdoctoral fellowship to support her work on ancient proteomics in the lab.

2021/12 - Pontus is named one of 26 EMBO Young Investigators by the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

2021/09 - Jesse McCabe starts as a Laboratory Research Scientist in Bioarchaeology in the lab. Welcome Jesse!

2021/09 - Jessica Peto starts as a Laboratory Research Scientist in Zooarchaeology in the lab. Welcome Jessica!

2021/09 - Kyriaki Anastasiadou starts as a PhD-student in the lab. Welcome Kakia!

2021/09 - Helen Fewlass joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Helen!

2021/07 - Congratulations to Leo Speidel for the publication in Molecular Biology and Evolution of the University of Oxford-led project on inferring genealogies in ancient genomes.

2021/07 - Mia Williams joins the lab as a Laboratory Research Scientist. Welcome Mia!

2021/07 - Congratulations to Anders Bergström and all co-authors on the publication in Current Biology of the University of Vienna-led project on genomes from 25,000 year-old sediments.

2021/06 - Anders Bergström wins the Future Fellow award at the ancient DNA community meeting ISBA 2021. Congratulations Anders!

2021/04 - Congratulations to Mateja Hajdinjak for the publication in Nature of the Max Planck-led project on DNA from the enigmatic first modern humans in Europe, 45,000 years ago, and their Neanderthal ancestors. Coverage in Nature, Science, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

2021/03 - We contributed as academic advisors together with Harvard Medical School and University of Adelaide to an openly accessible SNP capture reagent produced by Daicel Arbor Biosciences.

2021/02 - Our review of what is known about the deep origins of modern human ancestry is out in Nature [free read link].

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2020/12 - Monica Kyriacou joins the lab as a Senior Laboratory Research Scientist. Welcome Monica!

2020/10 - Our paper by Anders Bergström et al. on the origins of dogs is out in Science. Coverage in New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, Nature, Science, and elsewhere.

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.

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

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

2019/10 - The lab 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 - The lab is awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant that will support a €1.5M project studying convergent adaptation during agricultural transitions using ancient genomes.

2019/04 - 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!

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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!

2018/09 - 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!

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