- Ancient DNA
- Pre- and post-glacial mammals in the British Isles and (re)colonisation signatures
- Phylogeography of European mammals
- Biodiversity and climate change
- Population genetics and conservation
- Animal domestication
Mass migration & apartheid in Anglo-Saxon Britain?: an ancient DNA re-evaluation
Recently, there has been renewed interest in migration and residence patterns, partly influenced by development of new isotopic and DNA techniques for examining mobility directly from remains of people themselves. Ancient DNA data will be combined with stable isotope analysis to study the Romano-British to Anglo-Saxon transition. Even with historical accounts detailing the arrival of the Germanic Anglo-Saxons into Lowland Britain, there are still many unanswered questions, most notably what happened to the indigenous people? – were they absorbed or displaced by this migration event? Geneticists have attempted to look at this question using modern mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA data, with estimates of ~25–100% contribution to the modern male English gene pool. However, this methodology is problematic, not least because, by using modern DNA, subsequent migrations will overlay any original Anglo-Saxon introgression. This becomes problematic when Danish incursions are considered – their male source populations are essentially genetically identical to that of the Anglo-Saxons, while mitochondrial patterns are similar across Europe. We also have to consider how the bottleneck caused by the Black Death in the 14th century AD has affected modern genetic affinities. The only way to begin to determine how many Anglo-Saxons migrated to Britain, or if an apartheid system was indeed in place, is to look directly at contemporaneous British populations.
- Ph.D. Genetics (2003)
- Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin
Thesis title: "Genetic variation in domesticated cattle and wild aurochsen using ancient and modern DNA"
- M.Sc. in Biomolecular Archaeology (1998)
- Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield
- B.Sc. (Hons.) in Genetics (1996)
- Department of Biology, University of York