Our research group focuses on paleogenomics -the study of structure, function and organization of ancestral genomes. We are interested in different evolutionary problems that can be answered with ancient DNA data, involving human evolution, population dynamics and diversity, as well as adaptive processes and past migrations. We work on Neanderthal remains from the site of El Sidrón in Asturias (Spain). We are also investigating the evolutionary dynamics of the prehistory of Europe through the analysis of Mesolithic, Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Age human genomes. We are also interested in the history of pathogens, and we are currently studying ancient malaria in Europe.
Neandertal genomic diversity
We are working on the remains from the El Sidrón site in Asturias, Spain. This is a family group of at least 13 Neandertal individuals that became accidentally accumulated in a single, synchronic event within a subterranean karstic system. El Sidrón offers the unique opportunity of launching for understanding the behaviour, diversity and kinship relationships within a contemporaneous Neandertal social group.
We are interested in reconstructing the main cultural horizons and evolutionary shifts of European prehistory by analysing past human genomes from different periods, including the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition and later periods such as the Copper and Bronze Age. We are also analysing Bell-Beaker Iberian samples for reconstructing the dynamics and nature of the expansion of the archaeological horizon and its role in the shaping of modern European genetic diversity. In addition, we are analysing ancient samples from different periods to create an Iberian genomic transect.
We are reconstructing the adaptive effect of the eradicated malaria pathogens in Europe. We have retrieved Plasmodium DNA from antique microscopy slides from the Ebro Delta and we are planning to analyse also ancient human remains with potential signs of malaria.
Lab website: Paleogenomics Lab
A new technique makes it possible to extract the DNA from hominids preserved in soil sediments
Weyrich, L.S.; Duchene, S.; Soubrier, J.; [18 authors]; Lalueza-Fox, C.; [7 authors]; Huson, D.; Dobney, K.; and Cooper, A. 2017. Reconstructing Neandertal behavior, diet, and disease using ancient DNA from dental calculus. Nature 544, 357–361
Slon, V.; Hopfe, C.; Weiß, C.L.; Mafessoni, F.; de la Rasilla, M.; Lalueza-Fox, C.; [22 authors]; Burbano, H.A.; Pääbo, S.; Meyer, M. 2017. Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments. Science: in Press
20th August, 2017. El Mundo (Spain Edition). “La primera 'familia' del Homo sapiens”. Mentions Carles Lalueza-Fox.