31.03.2017 - 02:25
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Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Paolo Gratton

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Primatology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig, Germany

phone: +49 341 3550 244
e-mail: paolo_gratton@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests

I am a population geneticist and biogeographer. My main interests revolve around estimating spatial patterns of genetic diversity to understand how biological diversity is generated and maintained, with a special focus on the interactive effects of past climate change and geography.

My current main project at MPI-EVA ("PanAfrican: Phylogeographic synthesis") is mapping intraspecific genetic diversity of African mammals to test for common patterns of genetic diversity across taxa and identify community-level refugia. We are doing so by using published data from public DNA sequence databanks (NCBI GenBank) and we have been developing novel computing pipelines to geocode GenBank accessions, estimate continuous surfaces of allele frequencies and map intraspecific genetic structures.

Starting in spring 2017, I will carry out (with Mimi Arandjelovic and Jack Lester) the MPI-EVA side of the collaborative project "PanAfrican: Chimpanzee genetics and genomics" (with the Comparative Genomics Lab, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain), which aims at determining the population history and diversification of the four chimpanzee subspecies at an unprecedented level of resolution, based on samples from 40 chimpanzee research areas distributed across 15 African countries. This will in turn provide an essential background to study the evolution of cultural differentiation and propagation across the species and disentangle the evolutionary and ecological drivers of behavioral variation in our closest living relatives.

The combined results from the two projects will help the analysis of chimpanzee behavioral diversity by providing quantitative measures of its evolutionary context.