DNA Expert to Lecture on Lessons from the Genetic Past

Eske Willerslev

An internationally recognized researcher in the fields of ancient DNA and evolutionary biology will unveil some secrets that can be learned from history in a state-of-the-art lecture entitled “What We Can Learn from the Genetic Past” on Friday, Nov. 14.

Eske Willerslev, DSc, is a professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, where he is also director of the Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics and the National CryoBank and Sequencing Facility. While completing his doctorate, Dr. Willerslev established the first ancient DNA facility in Denmark, which rapidly became internationally recognized for establishing the fields of ancient sedimentary and ice core genetics. He has participated in more than a dozen research field expeditions ranging from Greenland to northern Siberia to collect materials from megafauna fossils to glacier ice to ethnographic information.

Dr. Willerslev holds a full professorship at the University of Copenhagen as well as the prestigious position of visiting professor at Oxford University. His previous positions include professor of evolutionary biology and professor of ancient DNA at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. He has also been a fellow in the department of zoology at Oxford University and a research visitor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.

He has published 20 papers in Science and Nature, and 134 articles in other high-profile, peer-reviewed journals. He has been an invited speaker at 73 international conferences and been awarded 50 large research grants and academic prizes. He received an award in 2012 from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation for his efforts in communicating science to the public.