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Department of Evolutionary Genetics

Director: Prof. Dr. Svante Pääbo

The Department of Evolutionary Genetics studies the genetic history of humans, apes and other organisms. We are interested in both the forces that affect the genome directly, such as mutation and recombination, and in the effects of selection and population history.

The department consists of two tenured faculty members: Svante Pääbo and Mark Stoneking; and one non-tenured member, Janet Kelso.

Genome Projects

The Department of Evolutionary Genetics has been working on a number of genome sequencing projects. Researchers of the department have sequenced and analyzed Neandertal genomes, a Denisovan genome and a bonobo genome.



Several million euros in EU funding for Max Planck early career researchers

Evolutionary Genetics

Eleven Max Planck projects receive starter grants from the European Research Councils (ERC); humanities and…


Modern humans developed a more effective protection against oxidative stress

Evolutionary Genetics

Neanderthal variant of the protein glutathione reductase increases risk for inflammatory bowel disease and…


DNA in archaeological sediments

Evolutionary Genetics

Ancient human and animal DNA can remain stably localized in sediments, preserved in microscopic fragments of…