Principal Investigator: Francesc Calafell Principal Investigator: Francesc Calafell


Research lines Research lines

The general topics that interest us revolve around the genomics in the study levels that go from the individual to the population. We want to address questions about the individuals, their identities, their phenotypes, and their genomes. Or about groups of individuals connected by shallow or deep genealogical links marked by their surnames or their Y chromosomes. Or about populations, their history, and their interaction as revealed by the bits and pieces of their genomes they have exchanged, never forgetting that these exchanges involved actual people, communicating with their languages and moving with the flow of history.

This vision is currently implemented  in two main projects:

  • Different male lineages marked by Y-chromosome haplogroups have rapidly grown in many places and in many (pre)historic times. We are interested in characterizing phylogeoghraphically two such haplogroups: R1b-DF27, carried by >40% of men in the Iberian Peninsula and rarer elsewhere, and E-M81, again much more frequent in NW Africa than elsewhere. We plan also to explore which demographic regimes could have led these local expansions. This project is carried out in collaboration with Marian Martínez de Pancorbo (Universidad del País Vasco) and David Comas here at IBE (CSIC-UPF).
  • We are interested in characterizing the genetic structure, at a fine geographical and genomic scale, of the Western Mediterranean, defined as Iberia, France, the Italian Peninsula, the Maghreb, and the islands in the W Mediterranean basin. For that, we use genomewide SNP arrays in >400 samples we have gathered from several regions in Iberia and France, as well as in the Balearic Islands, which will be merged with SNP sets from Italian regions (provided by Giuseppe Matullo, Turin) and NW Africa (David Comas, IBE). The main goals of these project are i) to characterize the genetic structure of the area, ii) estimate gene flow within populations in the area and from external sources such as the Middle East and the East European steppe by means of the current methods that allow tracking the exchange of haplotypes between individuals and populations, and iii) in particular,  investigate the Balearic islands, which may be prone to founder effects and subsequent drift.


Lab website: Calafell Lab

News News

Principal Investigator Principal Investigator

Current members Current members

Publications since 2011 Publications since 2011

Larmuseau, M.H.D.; Calafell, F.; Princen, S.A.; Decorte, R.; Soen, V. (2018) The black legend on the Spanish presence in the low countries: Verifying shared beliefs on genetic ancestry. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. (): doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23409

Font-Porterias, N.; Solé-Morata, N.; Serra-Vidal, G.; Bekada, A.; Fadhlaoui-Zid, K.; Zalloua, P.; Calafell, F.; Comas, D. (2018) The genetic landscape of Mediterranean North African populations through complete mtDNA sequences. Annals of Human Biology. 45(1):98-104 doi: 10.1080/03014460.2017.1413133

Villaescusa, P.; Illescas, M.J.; Valverde, L.; Baeta, M.; Nuñez, C.; Martínez-Jarreta, B.; Zarrabetia, M.T.; Calafell, F.; de Pancorbo, M.M. 2017. Characterization of the Iberian Y chromosome haplogroup R-DF27 in Northern Spain. Forensic science international. 27: 142-148

Solé-Morata, N.; García-Fernández, C.; Urasin, V.; Bekada, A.; Fadhlaoui-Zid, K.; Zalloua, P.; Comas, D. & Calafell, F. Whole Y-chromosome sequences reveal an extremely recent origin of the most common North African paternal lineage E-M183 (M81) Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 15941(2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16271-y

Perez de los Cobos, J.M.D.; Alcaraz, S.; Siñol, N.; Arranz, M.J.; Trujols, J.; Battle, F.; Calafell, F.; Durán-Sindreu, S.;Salazar,J. 2017. Satisfaction With Methadone and Opioid Receptor Genes Polymorphisms in Treatment-Refractory Heroin-Dependent Patients. Journal of Clinical psychopharmacology. 37(3): 378-380

Ongoing projects Ongoing projects

In the media In the media

On the publication of the paper "Whole Y-chromosome sequences reveal an extremely recent origin of the most common North African paternal lineage E-M183 (M81)", with the participation of Neus Solé-MorataFrancesc Calafell and David Comas.

1st December 2017:

El 70% dels magrebins descendeixen d'un avantpassat comú que va viure fa 2.500 anys, CCMA.

El 70% de los hombres del Magreb desciende de un antepasado común que vivió hace 2.500 años, Europapress

Un tatarabuelo norteafricano, National Geographic

On the publication of the paper 'Analysis of the R1b-DF27 haplogroup shows that a large fraction of Iberian Y-chromosome lineages originated recently in situ'. Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07710-x. With the participation of Francesc Calafell, principal investigator of the IBE.

26th September 2017: 

27th September 2017: 

On the publication of Jaume Bertranpetit and Francesc Calafell's new project:

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