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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.



Covid-19 genetic risk variant protects against HIV

Evolutionary Genetics

A Covid-19 risk variant inherited from Neandertals reduces a person’s risk of contracting HIV by 27 percent


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…