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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 four tenured faculty members: Svante Pääbo, Mark Stoneking, Janet Kelso and Matthias Meyer; and two non-tenured members: Ben Peter and Benjamin Vernot. 

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.



Modern humans generate more brain neurons than Neandertals

Evolutionary Genetics

Due to the change of a single amino acid, brain evolution has proceeded differently


The brains of Neanderthals developed differently from those of modern humans

Evolutionary Genetics

Brain stem cells of modern humans make fewer mistakes in the distribution of their chromosomes to the daughter…


Pre-historic Wallacea - a melting pot of human genetic ancestries

Evolutionary GeneticsArchaeogenetics

To shed light on the archipelago’s settlement history, researchers sequenced and analyzed sixteen ancient…