Location & dates EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 1 - 4 Sep 2021 Register interest
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EMBL Courses and Conferences during the Coronavirus pandemic

With the onsite programme paused, many of our events are now being offered in virtual formats.

Registration is open as usual for many events, with back-up plans in place to move further courses and conferences online as necessary. Registration fees for any events affected by the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.

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Symposium Overview

The study of population genetic variation and the sequencing of ancient DNA represent promising new avenues for investigating human history and our evolutionary past. Population-scale sequencing projects investigating human diversity have provided us with more than a million genome wide datasets that allowed new insights into patterns of human variation and mobility, while others have obtained genome wide data from thousands of ancient human skeletons, allowing the investigation of human evolution in action and providing direct insights into population genetic dynamics in situ. Large-scale genetic variation data sets can now be integrated with genomics data from ancient remains and history records to provide novel insights into human history, cultural evolution and the genetic history of societies. Ancient DNA was furthermore used to reconstruct genomic variation of historic pathogens as well as oral and gut microbiomes in order to provide molecular fossils to study microbial evolution through time. This meeting will involve scientists from genomics, bioinformatics, microbiology, anthropology, archaeology and historians and may initiate future interactions in this exciting and timely new research area that has the potential to change the way we think about our human past and how we might study genetic variation in the future.

Session Topics

  • Genomic analyses of our closest living and extinct relatives
  • Detecting patterns of natural selection
  • Reconstructing the genetic history of human populations
  • Combining genetics and historical evidence
  • Genetic history of domestication
  • Evolution of human pathogens and our microbiome

What Past Participants Say about the Symposium

"This symposium was an excellent blend of pioneers and hot research topics related to human
evolutionary history, ranging from archaic introgression, selection and population dynamics in
context of ancient to modern human genomes." - Ajai K Pathak, Institute of
Genomics of University of Tartu, Estonia

"Restructuring the Human Past was an outstanding event. EMBL brought together for the first time
both the present and future leaders in ancient and modern genomics and associated disciplines for
intense and productive presentations and discussions. This conference will be recognized as
a watershed event for our disciplines." - Patrick Geary, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton USA.