I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. After a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Medicine, I completed the master's program in Evolutionary Anthropology here in Vienna. My research interests focus on ancient host and pathogen DNA and I work with both great apes and humans. For my master’s thesis, I investigated DNA viruses in great apes, where I am still doing more research. My PhD project deals with social genomics in underprivileged individuals from Northern Italy, where I will incorporate different datasets, including archaeological and osteological data, to get an insight into the living conditions of the populations studied.
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.