Mammoth photo by April Pethybridge


Million-year-old DNA sheds light on the genomic history of mammoths - Patrícia Pečnerová

Dr. Patrícia Pečnerová presents the results of a landmark study published in Nature in which the authors successfully sequenced three of the oldest genomes generated to-date, and the first to break the 1 million year ceiling. In doing so, the study yielded some fascinating new insights into the evolutionary history of the different lineages of mammoth.

If you want to find out more about this work, you can access the study using the link above, or read Patrícia's account here.

You can also find out more about Patrícia's work through her website or by following her on twitter: @PatriciaChrzan
I can also strongly recommend her articles for the Molecular Ecologist, which include the hype cycle of ancient DNA presented in the seminar.

And you can find out more about the work of the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm, and specifically Love Dalén's research group here.

Ancient stickleback genomes reveal the demographic constraints on adaptation - Melanie Kirch

Melanie Kirch presents the results of a recent study published in Current Biology in which the authors successfully sequenced partial genomes of two Late Pleistocene sticklebacks - the oldest fish samples from which ancient genomic data has been obtained. In doing so, the study yielded some fascinating new insights into the constraints of adaptation to freshwater in this model system.

You can find out more about the interdisciplinary collaboration that made these findings possible here in English and here in Norwegian.

Melanie is a a PhD candidate in Felicity Jones' lab group at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society, Tübingen, Germany and can be followed using her twitter handle @MelanieKirch

Microbiomes from museum samples - Jaelle Brealey

Dr. Jaelle Brealey presents the results of a study recently published in Current Biology in which the authors used museum specimens to quantify the effects of spillover of antimicrobial resistance factors into wildlife from human antibiotics use over the last 150 years. The authors use an unexpected type of material: calcified oral microbiome, or dental calculus, that preserves on mammalian teeth long after the individual’s death. This allows them to go back in time and analyse microbiomes from the past.

The study shows that the level of antimicrobial resistance in preserved oral microbiomes of wild brown bears correlates with the history of human antibiotics use in Sweden, increasing as the use increases and decreasing after strategies for controlling and limiting the use of antibiotics have been put in place.

This study was conducted in Katerina Guschanski’s lab group at Uppsala University, Sweden. You can find out more about the group’s work hereJaelle is currently a postdoc at the Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum, Trondheim, Norway and can be followed using her Twitter handle @JaeBrealey

Joint inference effective population size and selection from temporal genomics data - Vitor Pavinato

Dr. Vitor Pavinato presents a new method for disentangling the effective population size from neutral regions of the genome and selection-related variables. The work was recently released as a preprint on BioRxiv. The work was done at the University of Montpellier and Vitor is currently working at Ohio State University. You can follow Vitor using his twitter handle @PavinatoVitor and through his blog.

Five Siberian Pleistocene wolves and what we learned from their genomes - Jazmín Ramos Madrigal

Dr. Jazmín Ramos Madrigal of the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics, University of Copenhagen presents her work on unravelling the evolutionary history of Pleistocene wolf lineages, and their relationships to present-day canids. This work was recently published in Current Biology, and you can read it here. You can also find out more about Jaz's work by following the links on her google scholar page or by following her on twitter: @jazmnra

One of our favourite ancient DNA studies is Jaz's work with Nathan Wales on a 5,000 year old maize cob and we would highly recommend those of you that enjoy this seminar to also check out that paper. Many thanks to María Ávila-Arcos for hosting and recording this week's seminar!