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Guest Speakers


Ben Krause-Kyora, Germany 

Professor Ben Krause-Kyora is a biochemist and archeologist by training who studied human development on a molecular level. During the last 10,000 years, humankind has been in steady interaction with the environment, exposed to pathogens and dependent on exploiting food sources that were shaped by landscape, climate and life style. My main research interest is to investigate how pathogens and changes in nutrition and subsistence strategies have shaped our genome over the last millennia. The underlying evolutionary processes also have important implications for modern disease genetics, e.g. in civilization and inflammatory diseases. I address my research questions by using ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. The combination of aDNA and genomic methodologies has considerably advanced the whole research field and allows us to trace molecular evolutionary changes through time, practically watching as they are happening. I am head of the Kiel aDNA Laboratory that was established in 2008. I have developed capture and sequencing technologies that have made aDNA studies highly sensitive and their results considerably more reliable. Genomic analyses of smallest amounts of highly degraded DNA can now be carried out.

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Steve Ousley, USA

Dr. Stephen Ousley earned his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Biological Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As a graduate research assistant, he worked on the Forensic Data Bank, which serves as a repository of skeletal data from forensic cases from around the United States. From 1998 through 2007, Dr. Ousley was Director of the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory in the Repatriation Office of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He developed and used multivariate statistical methods to estimate ancestry, frequently to the level of tribal origins, of human remains in the Smithsonian’s collections. Since 2007, he has been a professor at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Computing and Information Science. Dr. Ousley is best known for co-authoring Fordisc, a computer program that aids in the identification of unknown human remains using various statistical methods.

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John Hawks, USA

My academic position is the Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Right now, I’m Associate Chair of Anthropology and an associate member of both the Department of Zoology and the J. F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution. I am a recent recipient of the UW’s H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship and its Vilas Associate award. I’ve been at the University since 2002

My work has taken me to Africa, Asia, and Europe, where I have measured thousands of bones and investigated dozens of archaeological sites. In my lab, we use bioinformatics methods to work with whole genome sequences from thousands of living people (and a few ancient ones). We’re interested in uncovering the patterns of relationships that connect people, and the subtle changes by which we adapted to ancient environments. I’m an expert in population dynamics and the process of natural selection on both genes and morphological traits. I’ve used my work in genetics and skeletal biology to form rich collaborations with colleagues in a dozen countries. I love to discover new friends in new Places!

CV (download)

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