Population genomics using ancient DNA data


8th-12th January 2024

To foster international participation, this course will be held online





In recent years, novel technology for obtaining DNA molecules from archeological material has opened new horizons in the development of the field of paleogenomics. In this course, we will explore how ancient DNA (aDNA) data is generated and analyzed in population genomic research. Course content will focus on eukaryote genomes, in particular the human genome, for which a plethora of aDNA data is publicly available. On the first day of the course, participants will learn about the differences between aDNA and DNA obtained from archeological material, and how to control for DNA degradation. From Day 2 through Day 5, participants will learn about the theory and application of the main statistical methods used to analyze aDNA data. The course is structured as a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, which will be contextualized with real research questions. Hands-on exercises will be run in a Linux environment and visualization will be run in R using RStudio.


Target audience


The course is aimed at graduate students and researchers in genetics, ecology, and anthropology who are interested in using aDNA data for population genetics inference. The course is focused on computational methods for aDNA data processing and analysis. We will go only briefly over the laboratory methods used to extract aDNA and prepare genomic libraries for sequencing. Although the examples discussed in class will focus on humans, all methods discussed in class will be relevant to those who study other organisms for which aDNA data is available.


 Participants should have a background in genetics, genomics, and/or population genetics, be comfortable with Unix and R, and be familiar with Next Generation Sequencing data (any organism). We ask participants without previous experience in Unix and R to go through suggested tutorials on their own before the course. No previous experience with aDNA is required.