Prof. Dr. Johannes Krause was born in 1980 in the GDR. In 2008, he received his Ph.D. in Genetics at Leipzig University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, where he was supervised by Nobel Laureate Svante Pääbo. He worked at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig as a postdoc before he was appointed junior professor for Paleogenetics at the University of Tübingen in 2010 and subsequently full professor for Archaeo- and Paleogenetics at the same university in 2013. As one of the two founding directors of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, he headed the Department of Archaeogenetics from 2014 to 2020. In 2015 he was made an honorary professor for Archaeo- and Palaeogentics at the University of Tübingen. He is one of the founding directors of the Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean (MHAAM), established in 2017. In 2018 he became full professor for Archaeogenetics at the Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. In June 2020, Johannes Krause was reappointed as a director to the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and his department subsequently moved to Leipzig.
Prof. Dr. Krause focuses on the analysis of ancient DNA to investigate such topics as pathogens from historic and prehistoric epidemics, human genetic history, and human evolution. He has contributed to deciphering Neanderthal genetics and the shared genetic heritage of Neanderthals and modern humans. In 2010, while working at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, he discovered the first genetic evidence of the Denisovans, an extinct hominin found in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. His recent work includes revealing the genetic heritage of ancient Egyptians, reconstructing the oldest modern human genome, studying late Pleistocene genomes from Africa, Central Asia and Europe, uncovering the source of the epidemic plague bacteria that periodically caused historic and prehistoric epidemics in Eurasia, studying the evolution and genetic history of pathogens such as Mycobacterium leprae, M. tuberculosis, Treponema pallidum, Hepatitis B virus, Salmonella enterica, Helicobacter pylori and the Herpes virus, as well as clarifying the complex history of Western Eurasia’s prehistoric mass migrations.
Prof. Dr. Krause has authored more than 240 publications, mainly in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Reviews Genetics, etc. He has given more than 400 invited presentations and his research has been featured in numerous television, radio, print and online media sources, including The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, 3Sat, ARTE, Der Spiegel, FAS, FAZ, Die Zeit, Die Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Science, Nature, and considerably more. He has also authored two international bestsellers focusing on human history: “Die Reise unserer Gene” 2019 & “Hybris – Die Reise der Menschheit” (2021).
Prof. Dr. Krause was awarded the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize in 2010 and the Thuringian Research Prize for Top Performance in Basic Research in 2017. In 2020 he received the Fabio Frassetto International Prize for Paleoanthropology and in 2022 the Academy award from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He is a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences‘ WIN Kolleg, and a corresponding member of the Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and the German Archeological Institute (DAI).
Curriculum Vitae Johannes Krause [PDF]