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Environmental and socio-cultural co-evolutionary processes in ancient human populations

par catherine Theves - publié le , mis à jour le

Environmental and socio-cultural co-evolutionary processes in ancient human populations
Team leader : Catherine Thèves

The comparison of cultural data (as reflected from the archaeological context and historical sources), genomes and paleogenomes provides a fantastic opportunity to study the co-evolutionary processes between humans and their environment. This is particularly true in the case of infectious diseases where the emergence and spread of new pathogens provides new selective pressures for infected populations, and where the emergence of immunity-related resistance alleles can circle back to the pathogen evolutionary trajectory, leading to the selection of new virulent forms. This is also true for a range of other processes that are crucial in recent human evolution and have shaped the history of human civilization. One such processes is represented by domestication, which transformed wild animals into a diversity of modern domesticates, which encompass a whole range of phenotypic adaptations but which also developed a great range of cultural differentiation between human groups. This axis is the focus of Prof. L. Orlando, IDEX academic chair, using horse domestication as a model. Several field sites and time periods are targeted in our work, the majority of which are excavated and studied by the laboratory AMIS, in France and abroad, and span the Mediterranean basin, Mongolia and the fringe of the Arctic ocean.

Fouille République Sakha
copyright AMIS

* Research interests :
Human evolution, variability, demographic history and microevolution
Familial relationships within and between burial sites ; population history ; geographical origins
Health and dental status in past populations, the evolution of pathogens and diseases
Horse, evolution and adaptation, evolutionary history
Paleoproteomics

* Ongoing researchs :
Paleogenetic and paleogenomic of human Yakut population from 16th to 19th century, Eastern Siberia
Cold adaptation of Yakutian horses, Siberia
Paleogenetic of Altai population, Mongolia
Studies of human relationship in neolithic collective burials, Europe
Research of pathogens in French populations (from medieval to 18th century)
Development of proteomic approaches for disease and diet biomarker identification in ancient populations