Stockholm university
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Learn how DNA analyses of ancient remains (palaeogenetics) can provide information about past processes in humans and other wild and domesticated organisms. You will also learn about other biomolecular analyses, past environmental changes, and will receive practical training in how to extract, sequence and analyze DNA from prehistoric remains.

A person in lab gear holding a mammoth tusk
Photo by Love Dalén

This course will provide the latest knowledge on the different processes that have shaped the evolution and distribution of wild organisms and humans during the past 2.6 million years, and how one can use palaeogenetics of ancient remains and sediments to investigate them. These processes include environmental changes such as climatic and sea level fluctuations, as well as biological changes including speciation, hybridization, range dynamics, and extinctions. The course will go through recent case studies such as neanderthal hybdridization, human expansions, and extinction of the woolly mammoth. An overview of other biomolecular methods that currently are used on ancient materials will also be given. The course has a practical component where you will receive training in laboratory analysis of ancient DNA and how to use computational tools to analyze the resulting sequence data.

  • Course structure

    The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the theory and practice of ancient DNA, and also includes  practical lab work that is spread out across the course. The second part focuses on the prehistoric evolution of humans and wild and domesticated organisms, and how these have been affected by past environmental changes.

    Teaching format

    The format of the course will be a combination of practical laboratory work, computer labs, formal lectures, and independent literature projects.

    Learning outcomes

    A list of the learning outcomes can be found in the syllabus. Please find the link to the syllabus on the right side of this page.


    The assessment will be based on written reports, group discussions, and a final written exam.


    Love Dalén


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course reports

  • More information

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor for advanced level