A Genomic Tale of Archaic Hominin Diversity in Tropical Southeast Asia

Professor Murray Cox (Massey University, New Zealand)


We used to think the human species was unique. We aren't. A flood of genomic data shows that we once shared the planet with an array of hominin species, including hobbits, Neanderthals, and their enigmatic sister group, the Denisovans. While the story of humans and Neanderthals has been told for Europe, we know little about the rest of the world. This talk will describe how genetics, statistics and computer science are unraveling the archaic history of Island Southeast Asia. By excavating archaic haplotypes from ~200 new whole genome sequences spanning the largely unstudied region of Indonesia and New Guinea, we find that modern Papuans carry genetic regions, including many hundreds of genes, from two deeply divergent Denisovan lineages, each separated by over 350 thousand years. A third lineage, more closely related to the sequenced Denisovan, is found in modern Siberians and east Asians. Modern humans therefore carry genes from at least three Denisovan groups that were geographically isolated from each other over deep evolutionary time. This discovery radically changes our understanding of the distribution of archaic hominins: the world once hosted a panoply of archaic populations prior to the arrival of anatomically modern humans, and that diversity was focused not in Europe, but in tropical Asia.

Biography: Murray Cox is Professor of Computational Biology at Massey University in New Zealand. His research group integrates new genetic technologies with complex computational analysis to address biological questions at the interface of genomics, computer science and statistics. Murray is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow based at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Interessenten sind herzlich willkommen. Prof. Dr. Mareike Fischer

25.6.2018, 10:15 Uhr

SR 5, Franz-Mehring-Str. 47

Tag der Biomathematik

20 Jahre Biomathematik in Greifswald

Im Jahr 2018 feiert der Studiengang Biomathematik in Greifswald sein 20-jähriges Jubiläum, und gleichzeitig haben die European Mathematical Society und European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology das Year of Mathematical Biology ausgerufen.

Aus diesem Anlass veranstalten wir einen Tag der Biomathematik in Greifswald und laden Studierende, Studieninteressierte, Alumni und alle, die Interesse an der Biomathematik haben, dazu herzlich ein.

Demnächst: Weitere Informationen zum Programm

8. September 2018


1st Greifswald Summer School on Mathematics of Evolution

for PhD-students, PostDocs and advanced graduate students

As part of the Year of Mathematical Biology we proudly announce GreifOlution, the 1st Greifswald Summer School on Mathematics of Evolution (kindly funded by the DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service).

The main focus of this summer school will be on mathematical models and methods for reconstructing phylogenetic trees and networks, but upon request we might also include some sessions on other related topics, e.g. from population genetics.

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from 16/09/2018 to 22/09/2018

in Greifswald, Germany