Department of Evolutionary Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone: +49 341 3550 - 500
The main focus of our group is the development of molecular biology methods that aid evolutionary research on the most basal level, i.e. that of data generation. One central effort of the group is directed towards increasing the amount and quality of DNA sequences retrieved from ancient biological samples. Such samples, in particular those that are relevant to studying human evolution, often contain just trace amounts of DNA hiding in an excess of microbial and modern human contamination. We hope that technical advances, spurred by a deeper understanding of ancient DNA degradation patterns, will eventually make more samples accessible to genetic studies and help answer some of the most interesting questions about human evolutionary history. We are also seeking to facilitate sequence data generation for evolutionary and biomedical studies that require large numbers of samples or use difficult material, including for example single cells or biopsy samples.