Project 8: Developing bioinformatic tools to study biogeographical ancestry

Fellow:  Hákon Jónsson
Supervision:  Dr. Ludovic Orlando
Host Institution:  Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen
Duration:  3 years – starting from 1 June 2012

This project aims to develop bioinformatic tools that enable the optimum usage and analysis of data extracted from ancient and modern DNA projects. With the development of ever more powerful sequencing platforms and targeted sequencing techniques, it has become possible to recover extensive genetic information from ancient individuals, and thus to recover large quantities of ancestry informative markers (AIMs). With such data it becomes possible to investigate the origin of historical samples with more precision.

However, mining NGS data generated from ancient extracts for AIMs still represents a challenge and no widely accepted analytical tools are currently available to compare identified AIMs to large population datasets available for modern populations.

This project therefore seeks to fill the void between established analytical methods and large quantities of data generated by next generation sequencing, by creating bioinformatic tools for robust demographic inference using genomic data from spatially and temporally separated populations. The tools developed here will support both ancient and modern DNA projects implemented within EUROTAST.

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