I am generally interested in combining population genetics, evolutionary genetics and computational data inference to approach questions concerning human evolution. Genetics has greatly contributed to our knowledge of human and archaic hominin diversity (Neandertals and Denisovans). One major finding was that admixture, i.e. the exchange of genetic material between previously isolated populations, occurred recurrently between archaic populations and modern humans. Signals of these admixture events are still present in modern day populations, resulting in ~2 % of Neandertal ancestry in human populations outside Africa and up to ~5 % of Denisovan ancestry in some populations of Oceania, shaping adaptive traits and genetic diversity among present day humans.
My doctoral research under the supervision of Svante Pääbo and Benjamin Peter therefore focuses on developing, improving and evaluating methods to detect and date these admixture signals, in both ancient and modern populations, and with gene flow from either known or unknown archaic populations. To do this I improve existing or develop new bioinformatic methods and apply them on genetic data.