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Zoe PochonDoktorand

About me

Welcome to my page!

I am a PhD student in ancient DNA research, specialised primarily in ancient metagenomics, but also doing some demographic analysis.

The main goal of my PhD is to detect the presence of pathogens in ancient human remains. I am also interested in ancient microbiome analysis and de-novo assembly of ancient microbes to study their phylogenetic trees and link it to past epidemics and transmission patterns.

Since most viruses use RNA as their genetic information, I am also interested in testing and developing new techniques to test for the presence of ancient viruses such as measles in past populations.

I am also interested in demographic analysis of ancient DNA and have joined some projects to learn how to use the tools needed for this type of research.

Concerning my background, I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology with minor in History (Antiquity and Modern times) and a Master of Science in Evolutionary and Population Genetics with a minor in History (specialisation in Antiquity). Both my Bachelor and Master theses were conducted in the Wegmann Lab at the University of Fribourg on ancient DNA from the Bronze Age Battlefield (now Massacre) of the Tollense Valley in northeastern Germany. In particular, we estimated a strong selection coefficient for the lactase persistence allele from the Bronze Age on.

I am really passionate about the field of archaeogenetics because I think it brings new clues to historical and archaeological questions. I moved to Sweden from Switzerland to have the opportunity to work in this field.