Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Olivia CHERONET

I am a post-doctoral researcher in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna, and the lab manager of Ron Pinhasi's ancient DNA lab. Following an undergraduate training in Paleobiology and a PhD in physical anthropology, I have a particular interest in using this knowledge to improve and optimise ancient DNA sampling methods, by making them more efficient and less destructive to invaluable archaeological skeletons.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Daniel FERNANDES

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Ron Pinhasis's group, in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology of the University of Vienna. My expertise is the paleogenomic analysis of ancient human populations, specifically targeting ancestry determination, phenotypic assessment, admixture simulations, and societal organisation using kinship. Complementary interests and work areas involve the development and use of bioinformatic tools and pipelines for various genomic analysis, specifically for kinship estimation, as well as the development of ancient DNA laboratory methodologies and protocols for improved bone sampling and endogenous DNA separation.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Meriam GUELLIL

I am an expert in ancient microbial phylogenomics and metagenomics, particularly of human pathogens. I am particularly interested in the study of diseases that are invisible in the archaeological and osteological record, and the study of their evolution throughout human history. My previous research includes studies on microbial species such as Yersinia pestis, Haemophilus influenzae, Borrelia recurrentis and Herpes simplex 1. The focus of my laboratory work is the design of target enrichment strategies and kits, as well as their applications. Computationally, I have developed workflows for pathogen detection in ancient DNA datasets and work on developing analytical frameworks to reconstruct ancient genomes and maximize the information they can give us when studied within modern diversity. I was awarded a BA in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Vienna, an MSc in Human Osteology from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in Genomics from the University of Oslo. I joined the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna in September 2022 as an ESPRIT FWF project leader and senior postdoctoral researcher.

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Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE) Members

Richard KIMBER

I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE).  I am primarily interested in studying DNA-mineral interactions with the goal of elucidating mineralogical and geochemical controls on the preservation of (ancient) DNA. I co-supervise several projects within the MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome) research platform that focus on DNA interactions at mineral surfaces and their role in promoting (or inhibiting) DNA preservation in the presence of common degradation agents. By addressing these questions, we aim to improve our ability to find and extract ancient DNA from sediments.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Muhammad Bilal SHARIF

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna. My research interest includes genomic analysis of historical and ancient populations to understand their evolutionary and demographic history. Over the course of my Master's thesis at CIRAD Montpellier France, I specialized in analyzing genomic data using bioinformatical tools especially in estimating ploidy levels, signatures of selection, kinship, and demographic history using coalescent simulations. In my current project, I am working on Roman and Celtic Equids populations using a multidisciplinary approach that involves paleogenomics, standard morphology and geometric morphometrics.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Mareike STAHLSCHMIDT

I am a geoarchaeologist and apply microscopic techniques to the sedimentary archaeological record. I view and analyze sediments, deposits and features as archives of paleoenvironments as well as of human behavior. I am particularly interested in how archaeological sites form and preserve over time, in the evolution of human use of fire and in archaeological sediments and speleothems as paleogenetic archives.  

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