E.WillerslevProfessor, Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre, University of Copenhagen, Denmark / Prince Philip Professor, University of Cambridge, UK
Monday, January 13, 8:45 AM / Town & Country Ballroom

Talk Title:  "What We Can Learn From Ancient Genomics"

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Dr. Eske Willerslev, born 1971, holds the Prince Philip Chair in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Cambridge, UK. Additionally, he also holds a Lundbeck Foundation Professorship at University of Copenhagen and is director for Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics and a research associate the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Willerslev is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

Willerslev has broad research interest in the fields of ecology and evolution. He started out as an environmental microbiologist, then moved into the field of invertebrate systematics, and later into mammalian population genetics and community ecology. Over the past decade Willerslev has focused major parts of his research in understanding processes forming contemporary human genetic diversity, distribution, and disease load. In his research, Willerslev is known for his multidisciplinary approach collaborating with researchers from many different fields such as archaeology, anthropology, palaeontology, linguistics, chemistry, physics, statistics, and mathematics, but also philosophy. However, his primary experimental approach is ancient DNA: He was the first to establish the field of Ice Core Genetics (PNAS 1999), the field of Ancient and Modern Environmental DNA (Science 2003), Ancient Human Genomics (Nature 2010), Large-Scale Past Population Genetics/Genomics (Nature 2011; Science 2014; Nature 2015), and Large-Scale Past Disease Population Genomics (Cell 2015). He has more than 200-peer-reviewed papers (first publication 1999), of which more than 50 are in the journals Nature and Science. Willerslev is part of Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers.