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Saenz Nancy


PhD student - UMR 5288 - Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse, Toulouse, France.
Contact : nancysaenzr(a)

Thèmes de recherche

Neolithization and Migration Road of Paris Basin

The Neolithic refers to the transition of prehistoric populations from a hunter-gatherer to an agro-pastoralist lifestyle. This process was initiated in the Near East some 11,000 years ago, and had reached much of central Europe by 7500 years before the present, marking one of the most economic, cultural and social drastic changes in European prehistory. 
According to archaeological data, approximately 5800 year ago, in Europe, there are two independent roads of Neolithisation : the Danubian concerns Central Europe, and the Mediterranean.
However, the impact of the agricultural revolution on the gene pool of European populations and its influence on current population in Europe remains poorly known. This is mainly due to the difficulties encountered with ancient DNA analyses (degradation, contamination, reproducibility, etc..) and the difficulties to produce authentic results.
The European Neolithic remains a major challenge in ancient DNA studies, in this context we have produced one of the most elaborate study both in number of subjects and in genetic markers (Y-chromosome and autosomal STRs, mitochondrial DNA) within populations from the western Mediterranean region, especially in the cave of Treilles dating from the fifth millennium in southern France.
In recent years, new generation development sequencing (NGS ) and the advances associated with it have generated genomic data providing unparalleled insight into the evolution of our own species , human pathogens and epidemics , and on the dynamics of past and current populations.

Recherches actuelles

The purpose of this thesis is to continue paleogenetic studies considering the relationship between the northern areas (particularly the Paris Basin) and South Neolithisation.
This thesis proposes the study of the two collective burials, Mont Aimé I and II from the Paris Basin, which are contemporary to the cave of Treilles. These sites were already studied archaeologically and culturally.
We can genetically characterize these individuals to compare 1 / their kinship in each collective grave and between the two graves if they do exist ; 2 / population’s genetic components between the two collective graves and the cave of Treilles, South of France (Danube and Mediterranean routes ?), and with the ancient and current European populations ; 3 / and to estimate their biogeographical origin.
Just until now, these collective burials consist of a collection of individuals whose his chronology is well attested. So the interest of this study is to provide new information to improve the understanding in the complexity of the spread of Neolithic and his heritage in Europe.

Parcours de recherche

2014-present : PhD student in Molecular Anthropology UMR 5288 - Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse, Toulouse, French.
Thesis : Neolithization and Route of Migration of Paris Basin : Study of Two Collective Burials of the Mont Aimé

2011-2013 : Director of the DNA Laboratory, Department of Forensic Medicine of the Judicial Police of Ecuador, Quito-Ecuador.
2009-2013 :
Instructor in Anthropology and Evolution, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de las Américas, Quito-Ecuador.
Instructor in Forensic Genetics : Technology Higher Institute of the National Police of Ecuador and Postdoctoral Institute of Medicine, Forensic Department, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Quito-Ecuador

2009-2010 : scholarship holder, French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA)
Dissertation : The Origin and dynamics of indigenous populations in Ecuador : genetic diversity of populations of the Andes and the Amazon, in the program "The Origins of the American Man, Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology"

2007 : Master 2, Functional Analysis of Genomes, Anthropobiology specialty, genetic delineation of health and human populations, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France.
Dissertation : mitochondrial DNA diversity in both Quechua and Aymara peoples of the Altiplano Bolivien.Comparaison with other populations of South America.
2005 : Master 1 specialty Ecology Human Diversity, University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France.
2004 : Bachelor Biology of Organisms, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France
2003 DEUG Life Sciences, University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France
1998-1999 : University Degree : Certificate of French Language Practice, University of Toulouse II Le Mirail, France.


2012 : Co Author of “Protocolo Nacional para toma, levantamiento, embalaje y envío de indicios y muestras biológicas a los laboratorios forenses de la República del Ecuador”, Fiscalía General del Estado, Policía Judicial e Investigaciones, Foundation “PRIVA” (Fundación para la rehabilitación de víctimas de violencia), 120p.

N. Saenz, Origen y la dinámica del poblamiento autóctono del Ecuador : diversidad genética de poblaciones de los Andes y de la Amazonia”, Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Études Andines, 2010, 39 (1), Institut Français d’Études Andines, Lima, p. 189-194.

M. Gayà-Vidal, P. Moral, N. Saenz-Ruales, P. Gerbault, L. Tonasso et al.
mtDNA and Y-chromosome diversity in Aymaras and Quechuas from Bolivia : different stories and special genetic traits of the Andean Altiplano populations. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2011 June ; 145(2) : 215–230. Published online 2011 April 5. doi : 10.1002/ajpa.21487