Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

People of the Archaeo and Paleogenetics Group

Group Leader

Jun. Prof. Dr. Cosimo Posth

Cosimo Posth focuses his research on the genetic reconstruction and dispersal history of archaic and modern humans through the DNA analysis of ancient human remains. After studying Natural and Anthropological Sciences in Florence (Italy), Cosimo Posth received his doctorate from the University of Tübingen in 2016. In his doctoral thesis he was able to show that early modern humans and Neanderthals admixed more than 200,000 years ago. He also revealed population expansions and contractions of European hunter-gatherers during the last Ice Age. Subsequently, he started his post-doctoral research activity at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) where, in 2019, he became leader of the Human Paleogenomics group. Since April 2020, he is appointed Junior Professor for Archaeo- and Palaeogenetics at the University of Tübingen and Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment in Tübingen (Germany) ...see more

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Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Maria A. Spyrou

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher broadly interested in the evolution and history of infectious diseases as well as on how past epidemics/pandemics have shaped human societies. I approach these topics through genetics, and specifically through the investigation of pathogen DNA traces in ancient human remains as well as through the reconstruction and evolutionary analysis of whole ancient pathogen genomes from various archaeological contexts. Among a number of topics, my work has largely focused on tracing the history of the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis, from as far back as the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, as well as from its infamous historical eruptions during the First and Second Plague Pandemics. ...see more

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Dr. Michal Feldman

I am a postdoctoral researcher with a main interest in the study of past human populations by the reconstruction and comparative analysis of genomic data. Genetic material isolated from archaeological skeletal remains can teach us many things about the evolution, mobility, health and behavior of prehistoric and historic people. This way of recording the past is especially useful when written records are not available. Mostly, my work has focused on the prehistoric Near East, from as early as the Mesolithic and up until the late Iron Age. More recently, I have been involved in the study of mobility and social structure in context of the first populations of the southwest Pacific islands. ...see more

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Dr. Wanda Zinger

I am interested in the history of human migrations and the dynamics of exchange in the Southwest Pacific by the reconstruction of biological and social identities of ancient individuals from Oceania. My postdoctoral research entails a synergistic approach to combine phenotypic and genotypic data recorded from ancient human remains from the Vanuatu archipelago. This approach bridges the gap between macroscopic and microscopic studies and between fieldwork and laboratory. While increasing the number of investigated individuals, I aim to provide new hypotheses on the settlement patterns of the Pacific islands. ...see more

Dr. Lara Rubio Arauna

I am a biologist specialized in genomics. I am interested in the interaction between culture and genetic diversity, and I explore it through the study of the demographic and adaptation history of human populations. During my PhD I studied admixture and genetic structure in different human populations, with a focus on North Africa. During my postdoctoral research, at the Institut Pasteur, I studied the genetic history of Oceanian populations. At the Universität Tübingen I use ancient DNA to reconstruct the demographic history and the social structure of Oceanians. ...see more


PhD Students

Emily Gaul, M.Sc.

I completed my undergraduate degree at University College London, and my master’s at Aix-Marseille Université. The focus of my final year thesis was the genetic structure and population history of the Sulu Archipelago (research performed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology). Post-graduation, I became interested in pathogen genomics, and worked on a project investigating viral evolution during chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection. With recent advances in genetic technology providing the possibility to reconstruct microbial genomes from human skeletal remains, I am excited by the opportunity that this presents to travel back in time, and to study the inextricable relationship between pathogen evolution and human histories. With my research, I seek to investigate the causative agents of past epidemics/pandemics and how these might have shaped human populations. Conversely, I wish to also explore how observed patterns of pathogen diversity might be correlated to human migration and cultural practices.

Email: emily.gaulspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Office Address: Room 516, Hölderlinstr. 12

Freya Steinhagen M.Sc.

During my Master's studies in Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology at the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, I ventured into Population Genomics and Metagenomics. My research focuses on metagenomic analyses of ancient and environmental DNA. My research interests are characterized by a fascination for interactions — whether among human groups in population genomics, the relationship between humans and their microbiome, and overall the interplay of organisms they come in contact with and ecosystems they are part of.
In my PhD, I will explore the impact of human populations on the diversity of their surrounding ecosystem, especially on different mammalian cave communities. My work will involve generating new genomic data, conducting bioinformatic analysis, and developing new capture panels for the taxa in question.

Email: freya.steinhagenspam prevention@ifu.uni-tuebingen.de

Office Address: Hölderlinstraße 12.

Kim-Louise Krettek, M.Sc., B.Sc.

After finishing my master’s in biological Anthropology with a focus on osteology, I joined the Archeo- and Paleogenetics group as a PhD student. My project focuses on the population history of South America assessed through the lenses of ancient DNA, which gives us the unique opportunity to study the demography of ancient populations . With my research I hope to shed light not only on how, when and by whom the southern American sub-continent was populated, but also on human interaction with the encountered environments.


Email: kim-louise.krettek@ uni-tuebingen.de 
Office Phone: 75651
Office Address: Room 516, Hölderlinstr. 12

Arianna Weingarten, M.Sc.

I received my undergraduate degrees from the University of California Santa Cruz, where I double majored in Biology and Anthropology/Earth Sciences. Following this I completed my Masters in Archaeological Sciences, specializing in paleogenetics, at the University of Tübingen, where I am currently a PhD student. Recent developments in ancient DNA technology have provided the opportunity for us to study a growing number of genomes from the Middle Pleistocene. The fossil record demonstrates that this was not only a pivotal period in human evolution but also that many modern-day mammals became established then. My research focuses on employing aDNA and ZooMS analysis to gain a novel perspective on speciation, hominin subsistence and paleoenvironment during the Middle Pleistocene in Europe. 

Email: arianna.weingarten@ uni-tuebingen.de
Office: Room 515, Hölderlinstr. 12

Orhan Efe Yavuz, M.A.

I did my undergraduate in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, in the US, and finished my Masters in Archaeology at Koç University in Istanbul. I am interested in how genomic data and other biological material can reveal us about who we are and who we were. A long-run goal of mine is to integrate general human biology of both present and the past into today’s solutions. In the past, I worked on the genomic data from Iron Age Anatolia and I am currently working on ancient DNA data across the broader Mediterranean. 

Email: orhan-efe.yavuz@ mnf.uni-tuebingen.de
Office: Room 515, Hölderlinstr. 12

Student Research Assistants

Britta Van Tiel, B.Sc (Hons) BA

I receieved my Bachelor's in Arts and Science (Hons) from the Australian National University in Canberra in 2020 majoring in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. My research specifically focused on palaeodemographic processes of Norse populations in the North Atlantic and maternal mortality in ancient Southeast Asia. In my MSc thesis here in Tübingen I hope to contribute to the body of knowledge for human genomics in the Near East, specifically during the Bronze Age. As a research assistant (HiWi) for the team, I am responsible for sampling osseous and dental material for further molecular analysis. 

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Email: britta.van-tiel@ student.uni-tuebingen.de

Laboratory Staff

Ella Reiter

After my training as a medical-technical laboratory assistant, I worked in the central laboratory of the Tübingen University Hospital for over two and a half years. I have been part of the Archeo- and Paleogenetics working group since 2014 and I am responsible for several aspects such as laboratory organization, equipment maintenance, technical implementation of protocols, assistance in laboratory courses for students and work on projects in the clean room as well as in the molecular biology lab. In parallel to my job, I am currently studying molecular and technical medicine at the Hochschule Furtwangen and would like to focus my bachelor thesis on optimizing laboratory methods for ancient DNA research. ...see more

Stephen Clayton

I studied biochemistry and did a master in bioinformatics at the University of York, U.K, then moved to Cambridge and worked for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on the genetic aetiology of developmental disorders. I moved to Germany in 2015 to provide informatics support for the Archaogenetics department of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. Subsequently I worked at the translational cancer science centre at Technical University of Munich (TranslaTUM, Klinikum rechts der Isar) working in the group of Professor Roland Rad (Molecular Oncology and functional genomics) on epigenetics, structural variation and combinatorial screening. I have returned to ancient DNA to provide informatics support to the Archeo and Paelogentics group and to complete my PhD studying genetic disease in ancient genomes. ...see more

Other Staff

Sonia Varandas

Secretary for the Institute of Archaeological Sciences (INA)

Email: sonia.varandasspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de
Office: S523, Hölderlinstraße 12
72074 Tübingen, Germany

Associated Researchers

Alex Mas-Sandoval, P.h.D

I am a population geneticist with a background in bioinformatics. I study how evolutionary processes driven by social structure and cultural changes impact the genetic diversity of populations. I did a PhD at the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF), in Barcelona, and at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre. There I focused on the reconstruction of the precolonial demographic history from admixed populations of Brazil. Then, during a Postdoc at Imperial College London, I studied how social hierarchies constrain the mating patterns and the admixture dynamics of the populations of the Americas. As a postdoctoral researcher at Università di Bologna, I am focused on understanding the socioeconomic factors that drive assortative mating in these populations. I am currently a short-term visiting researcher at Universität Tübingen in the framework of the Global Encounters platform, aiming to disentangle how social inequalities and population stratification have impacted a wide range of populations across time and space.


E-Mail: alex.massandoval@ unibo.it

Charoula Maria Fotiadou, M.Sc., B.A.

I completed my Bachelor of Arts in History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina, Greece. During my Master in Archeological Sciences here in Tübingen I focused on Paleoanthropology and the connection with Paleogenetics, with a special interest on Neanderthals. I am currently working on the demographic history of Neanderthals using mitochondrial DNA data. As part of the Paleogenetics team and a HIWI (research assistant), I am responsible for data processing and analysis, as well as the sampling of ancient DNA from teeth and petrous bones of both human and animal material.


Email: charoula.fotiadou@ uni-tuebingen.de
Office: Room 515, Hölderinlinstr. 12


Dr. Carolina Royo Brun (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Micaela Ciervo (Visiting MSc student)   
Valentina Zaro (Visiting PhD student)