2020 Hellman Fellow
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Project Title: Human Adaptation to Extreme Environments:9000-year-old DNA from the High Andes, Peru
Project Description: The Andes Mountains of South America present one the world’s most challenging environments for biological and cultural adaptation. Little is known about when and how the first human populations solved those adaptive challenges. My archaeological investigations seek to uncover their social, technological, and biological strategies to gain insight into human adaptive capacities. This Fellowship will support specialized analysis of 9,000-year-old human DNA recently excavated in 2018 and 2019. Funds will support full-genome sequencing, microbiome analysis, and radiocarbon dating of ten individuals. Results will be used to evaluate migration histories, high-altitude genetic adaptations, and early disease ecosystems.