KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Ron Pinhasi
KLI Colloquia
What Can Paleogenomics Tell Us about Prehistoric Agricultural Dispersals?
Ron PINHASI (University of Vienna)
2019-05-28 17:00 - 2019-05-28 18:30
Organized by KLI

Topic description / abstract:

In the past 10 years ancient DNA research has transformed our knowledge about the genetic history of past populations worldwide. A major challenge in the field is how to obtain authentic ancient DNA genomic data for human skeletons from non-temperate world regions, due to the poor ancient DNA preservation in these climates. A major contribution of Pinhasi and his team is the development of innovative methods that optimise ancient DNA yields from the inner ear bone, ear ossicles,  and teeth. The combination of these methods with existing extraction and library preparation methods made it possible to obtain  genomic data for 100s of individuals from prehistoric populations from non-temperate world regions, placing a particular focus on  the study of  agricultural dispersals  across Africa, Europe, various regions of Asia and the Pacific, and to  examine central questions about agricultural transitions and dispersals: Who were the first farmers? When and where did agricultural dispersals take place? What was the nature of contributions and interactions of indigenous hunter-gatherers to these agricultural transitions?


Biographical note:

Ron Pinhasi is an Associate Professor, at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna.

He received his BA in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Canada (1996), His MA from Katholike University Leuven, Belgium (1997) and his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2003.  He spent two years (2003-2004) in a Lise Meitner postdoctoral position at the Natural History museum, Vienna, examining the health status of early medieval Austrian populations.

He started his first lecturer position at Roehampton University, London, 2004-2007 and continued to a second lectureship position at the department of Archaeology, University College Cork, Ireland (2007-2012).  During 2012-2017 he was an Associate Professor at University College Dublin.

He Held a Starter ERC Starter grant (2011-2015) for an interdisciplinary project which focused on the integration of ancient DNA methods, isotope analysis, anthropology and archaeology to the study of the biology, mobility and behaviour of past human populations during the last 45,000 years. This research led to >40 publications, and the analysis of human ancient DNA of over 3000 Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic human skeletons from across Eurasia, Africa and the Pacific.

Ron Pinhasi established the first human ancient DNA laboratory in Ireland, in 2013 and in November 2017, he started a new ancient DNA laboratory at the University of Vienna.