Prof Ian Barnes

Ian Barnes
  • Research Leader
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Vertebrates and Anthropology Palaeobiology
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

2013 - present        Research Leader, Vertebrates and Anthropology, Earth Sciences, NHM

2008 - 2013             Reader, then Professor in Molecular Palaeobiology, School of 
                                   Biological Sciences, RHUL.

2005 - 2008             NERC Postdoctoral Fellow/Senior Lecturer in Evolution, School of 
                                   Biological Sciences, RHUL.

2002 - 2005             Wellcome Bioarchaeology Fellow, Department of Biology, University 
                                   College London.

1999 - 2002             NERC funded Research Assistant, Department of Biological Anthropology, 
                                   University of Oxford.

1998 - 1999             Wellcome Trust funded Research Assistant, Department of Bacteriology 
                                   and Department of Biology, UCL.


1994 - 1998             D.Phil., Department of Biology, University of York. 
                                   Thesis title: The Molecular Identification of Goose Species in 
                                   Archaeozoological Assemblages.

1990 - 1994             B.Sc. (Hons) Archaeological Sciences (2:1)
                                   Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford.

Professional Roles


  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award (2013-116) £415 383. Human Adaptation to Changing Diet and Infectious Disease Loads, from the Origins of Agriculture to the Present.
  • NERC (2012-15) £21 021. Seeing genes in space & time: the evolution of neutral and functional genetic diversity using woolly mammoth. Main grant held by PI Michi Hofreiter (York).
  • IoZ/ZSL (2012-13) £1 000. Chinese mammal genetic analyses.
  • Royal Society (2012-13) £9 000. Evolutionary History of Caribbean Mammals.
  • CEE (2012-13) £4 100. Evolution of the Primate Gut Microbiota. Co-I with Helen Chatterjee and  Dave Spratt (UCL).
  • EU FP7 SYNTHESYS II (2010-13) €173 785. Joint Research Activity 3: Methods for Optimal Recovery of DNA from Osteological Remains (MORDOR).
  • Systematics Association (2011-12) £9 501. Collagen: the Barcode of Death. Co-I with Matthew Collins (York) and Sam Turvey (IoZ).
  • BiodivERsA (2008-12) £295 000. Integrating Ancient DNA and Ecological Modelling to Quantify the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity. Lead investigator, co-investigators Nigel Yoccos (Tromso) and Love Dalén (Stockholm).
  • CEE (2008) £1290. Evolution and conservation of a threatened West Indian land mammal: phylogeography and population analyses of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium. Co-I with Sam Turvey (IoZ).
  • NERC/ORADS (2008) 34 radiocarbon dates, £11 730 equivalent. The role of climate change in species range shifts: an ancient DNA study of Quaternary red deer. Equal co-applicant with Adrian Lister (Natural History Museum) and M. Meiri.
  • EU Marie Curie Fellowship (2006-08) £105 182. The Genetics of Climate Change in the Late Pleistocene. Host for Love Dalén.
  • Royal Society (2006-07) £14 192. Mycorrhizal Diversity in Late Quaternary Permafrost Soil.
  • NERC (2005-08) £158 900. Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Genetics of Mammalian Speciation and Extinction in the Late Pleistocene.
  • Wellcome Trust (2002-05) £189 874. Bioarchaeology Fellowship, The Preservation of Pathogen Biomolecules in Medical Museum Bone Specimens.
  • NERC/ORADS (2001) 25 radiocarbon dates, £7 125 equivalent. A study of Pleistocene remains of short faced bear and cave lion. Co-applicant with Alan Cooper (Oxford).

External roles

2011 - present            Member, NERC Peer Review College.

2010 - present            SYNTHESYS II UK User Application Panel.

2009 - present            Member, NERC Radiocarbon Steering Committee.

2008 - 2010                Scientific Committee, International Conference on Mammoths and their 

2007 - present            Fellow, Linnean Society of London.

2007 - 2012                Centre for Ecology and Evolution, RHUL representative.

Peer review

A top 300 reviewer for Molecular Ecology, and have reviewed papers for many other journals including Nature, Science, PNAS, Systematic Biology, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Quaternary Science Reviews, Journal of Biogeography, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, Archaeometry and PloS One.

Post-graduate student supervision

  • Rosie Woods, PhD student (2013-16). Proposed thesis title: Molecular systematics and the evolution of the Caribbean mammal fauna. (Main Supervisor, co-supervised with Sam Turvey, IoZ, and Mark Brown, RHUL).
  • Melissa Marr, PhD student (2013-16). Proposed thesis title: Faunal Response to Abrupt Climate Change: the History of the British Fauna from the Lateglacial to the Early Holocene. (Co-supervisor, main supervisor is D. Schreve, Geography, RHUL).
  • Victoria Mullin, MSc student (2011-12) To ZooMS or not to ZooMS that is the Question; a Comparative Study of Taxonomic Identification Techniques: Ancient DNA Analysis and Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry.
  • Peter Heintzman, PhD student (2009-2012) The Preservation and Postglacial History of Ice Age Holarctic Beetles, as Inferred from Museum and Ancient DNA. (with S. Elias, Geography, RHUL).
  • Claire Workman, MSc student (2008-09) A Functional Analysis of Coat Colour Polymorphism in the Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius).
  • Selina Brace, PhD student (2007-10). Investigating Evolutionary Processes using Ancient and Historical DNA of Rodent Species.
  • Joanne Humphries, MSc student (2007-8) Development of a Microsatellite System for Analysis of Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) Populations.
  • Meirav Meiri, PhD student (2006-09). The Role of Environmental Change in Species Range Shifts – Analysis of Quaternary Deer using Ancient DNA. (with A. Lister, Natural History Museum).



Characterizing DNA preservation in degraded specimens of Amara alpina (Carabidae: Coleoptera) Heintzman, P.D., Elias, S., Moore, K., Paszkiewicz, K. and Barnes, I. (2014). Molecular Ecology Resources 14, 606-15.

The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana (2014) Rasmussen, M., Anzick, S.L., Waters, M.R., Skoglund, P., DeGiorgio, M., Stafford, T.W. Jr, Rasmussen, S., Moltke, I., Albrechtsen, A., Doyle, S.M., Poznik, G.D., Gudmundsdottir, V., Yadav, R., Malaspinas, A.S., White, S.S. 5th, Allentoft, M.E., Cornejo, O.E., Tambets, K., Eriksson, A., Heintzman, P.D., Karmin, M., Korneliussen, T.S., Meltzer, D.J., Pierre, T.L., Stenderup, J., Saag, L., Warmuth, V.M., Lopes, M.C., Malhi, R.S., Brunak, S., Sicheritz-Ponten, T., Barnes, I., Collins, M., Orlando, L., Balloux, F., Manica, A., Gupta, R., Metspalu, M., Bustamante, C.D., Jakobsson, M., Nielsen, R. and Willerslev, E. Nature506, 225-229.

Searching for Scandinavians in pre-Viking Scotland: molecular fingerprinting of Early Medieval combs (2014) von Holstein, I.C.C., Ashby, S.P., van Doorn, N.L., Sachs, S.M., Buckley, M., Meiri, M., Barnes, I., Brundle, A. and Collins, M. J. Journal of Archaeological Science, 41, 1-6.

Revealing the maternal demographic history of Panthera leo using ancient DNA and a spatially explicit genealogical analysis (2014) Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N., Shapiro, B., Ho, S.Y.W., Barnes, I., Sabin, R., Werdelin, L., Cuisin, J. and Larson, G. BMC Evolutionary Biology14:70.

Faunal record identifies Bering isthmus conditions as constraint to end-Pleistocene migration to the New World (2014) Meiri, M., Lister, A.M., Collins, M.J., Tuross, N., Goebel, T., Blockley, S., Zazula, G.D., van Doorn, N., Guthrie, R.D., Boeskorov, G.G., Baryshnikov, G.F., Sher, A. and Barnes, I. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences281, 20132167.


Late-glacial recolonization and phylogeography of European red deer Cervus elaphus L. (2013) Meiri, M., Lister, A. M., Higham, T. F. G., Stewart, J. R., Straus, L. G., Obermaier, H., González Morales, M. R., Marín-Arroyo, A. B. & Barnes, I. Molecular Ecology 22, 4711-22.

Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth (2013) Palkopoulou, E., Dalén, L., Lister, A. M., Vartanyan, S., Sablin, M., Sher, A., Edmark, V. N., Brandström, M. D., Germonpré, M., Barnes, I. & Thomas, J. A. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 280, 20131910


Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability (2012) Brace, S., Palkopoulou, E., Dalén, L., Lister, A., Miller, Otte, M., Germonpré, M., Blockley, S.P.E., Stewart, J. and Barnes, I. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 109, 20532–20536.

Microsatellite genotyping reveals end-Pleistocene decline in mammoth autosomal genetic variation (2012) Nystrom, V., Humphrey, J., Skoglund, P., McKeown, N., Vartanyan, S., Shaw, P., Liden, K., Jakobsson, M., Barnes, I., Angerbjorn, A., Lister, A. and Dalen, L. Molecular Ecology 21, 3391-402.

Population history of the Hispaniolan hutia Plagiodontia aedium (Rodentia Capromyidae): testing the model of ancient differentiation on a geotectonically complex Caribbean island (2012) Brace, S., Barnes, I., Powell, A., Pearson, R., Woolaver, L., Thomas, M. and Turvey, S. Molecular Ecology 21, 2239-53.


Ancient urbanisation predicts genetic resistance to tuberculosis (2011) Barnes, I., Duda, A., Pybus, O. and Thomas, M. Evolution, 65, 842-848.

Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline (2011) Edwards, C., Suchard, M., Lemey, P., Welch, J., Barnes I. Fulton, T., Barnett, R., O'Connell, T., Coxon, P., Monaghan, N., Valdiosera, C., Lorenzen, E., Willerslev, E., Baryshnikov, G., Thomas, M., Bradley, D. and Shapiro, B. Current Biology 21, 1251-1258.

Modern and ancient red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Europe show an unusual lack of geographical and temporal structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change (2011) Teacher, A., Thomas, J. and Barnes, I. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11, 214

Bayesian estimation of substitution rates from ancient DNA sequences with low information content (2011) Ho, S.Y.W., Lanfear, R., Phillips, M.J., Barnes, I., Thomas, J.A., Kolokotronis, S.-O., and Shapiro, B. Systematic Biology 60, 366-375.

Population-level genotyping of coat colour polymorphism in woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius (2011) Workman, C., Dalen, L., Vartanyan, S., Shapiro, B., Kosintsev, P., Sher, A., Gotherstrom, A., Barnes, I. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 2304-2308.


Diversity lost: are all Holarctic large mammal species just relict populations? (2010) Hofreiter, M. and Barnes, I. BMC Biology 8, 46.

Refugia revisited: individualistic responses of species in space and time (2010) Stewart, J.R., Lister, A.M., Barnes, I. and Dalén, L. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B 277, 661-671.


Ancient DNA reveals late survival of mammoth and horse in interior Alaska (2009). Haile, J., Froese, D.G., R.D.E. MacPhee, Roberts, R.G., Arnold, L.J., Reyes, A.V., Rasmussen, M., Nielsen, R., Brook, B.W., Robinson, S., Demuro, M., Gilbert, M.T.P., Munch, K., Austin, J.J., Cooper, A., Barnes, I., Möller, P. and Willerslev, E. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 106, 22352-22357.

Bacillus subtilis isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract (2009) Hong H.A., Khaneja R., Tam N.M., Cazzato A., Tan S., Urdaci M., Brisson A., Gasbarrini A., Barnes I. and Cutting S.M. Research in Microbiology, 160, 134-143.

Estimating the phylogeny and divergence times of primates using a supermatrix approach (2009) Chatterjee, H.J., Ho, S.Y.W., Barnes, I. and Groves, C. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 9: Art. No. 259.

Phylogeography of lions (Panthera leo spp.) reveals three distinct taxa and a late Pleistocene reduction in genetic diversity (2009) Barnett, R., Shapiro, B., Barnes, I. Ho, S.Y.W., Burger, J., Yamaguchi, N., Higham, T.F.G., Wheeler, H.T., Rosendahl, W., Sher, A.V., Sotnikova, M., Kuznetsova, T., Baryshnikov, G.F., Martin, L.D., Harington, C.R., Burns, J.A. and Cooper, A. Molecular Ecology, 18, 1668-1677.


Surprising migration and population size dynamics in ancient Iberian brown bears Ursus arctos (2008) Valdiosera, C.E., García-Garitagoitia J. L., Garcia, N., Doadrio, I., Thomas, M.G., Hänni, C., Arsuaga, J-L., Barnes, I., Hofreiter, M., Orlando, L. and Götherström, A. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 5123-5128.

New genetic evidence supports isolation and drift in the Ladin communities of the South Tyrolean Alps but not an ancient origin in the Middle East (2008) Thomas, M.G., Barnes I., Weale, M.E., Jones, A., Forster, P., Bradman, N. and Pramstaller, P.P. European Journal of Human Genetics, 16, 124–134.

Using DNA to Investigate the Human Past (2008) Shapiro, B., Gilbert, M.T.P and Barnes, I. In Between Biology and Culture, H. Schutkowski (editor). Cambridge University Press.


Staying out in the Cold: Glacial Refugia and Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeography in Ancient European Brown Bears. (2007) Valdiosera, C.E., García, N.,, Anderung, C., Dalén, L., Crégut-Bonnoure, E., Kahlke, R.-D.-D., Stiller, M., Brandström M., Thomas, M. G., Arsuaga, J. L.,, Götherström, A. and Barnes, I. Molecular Ecology, 16, 5140-5148.

Stable isotope and DNA evidence for ritual sequences in Inca child sacrifice (2007) Wilson, A.S., Taylor, T., Cerutid, M., Chaveze, J., Reinhardf, J., Grimes V., Meier-Augenstein, W., Cartmelli, L., Stern, B., Richards, M.P., Worobey, M., Barnes, I. and Gilbert M.T.P. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 104, 16456-16461.

Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius (2007) Barnes, I., Shapiro, B., Lister, A., Kuznetsova, T., Sher, A., Guthrie, D. and Thomas, M. Current Biology, 17, 1072-1075.

Molecular phylogeny of genus Guizotia (Asteraceae) using DNA sequences derived from ITS (2007) Bekele, E., Geleta, M., Dagne, K., Jones, A.L., Barnes, I., Bradman, N. and Thomas, M.G. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 54, 1419-1427.

Ancient DNA (2007) Barnes, I., Barnett, R. and Shapiro, B. In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, S. Elias (editor-in-chief). Elsevier, Oxford.


The origin, current diversity, and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo) (2006) Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N., Barnes, I. and Cooper, A. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 273, 2119-2125.

Multiplex amplification of the complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene mammoth. (2006) Krause, J., Dear, P., Pollack, J., Slatkin, M., Spriggs, H., Barnes, I., Lister, A., Pääbo, S. and Hofreiter M. Nature, 439, 724-727.

Bacterial pathogen DNA in museum osteological collections (2006) Barnes, I. and Thomas, M. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 273, 645-653.

Lost populations and preserving genetic diversity in the lion Panthera leo: implications for its ex-situ conservation (2006) Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N., Barnes, I. and Cooper, A. Conservation Genetics, 7, 507-514.


Assessing ancient DNA studies (2005) Gilbert, T., Bandelt H.-J., Hofreiter, M. and Barnes, I. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20, 541-544.

Phylogenetic position of the giant deer, Megaloceros giganteus (2005) Lister, A., Edwards, C., Nock D., Bunce, M., van Pijlen, I., Bradley, D., Thomas, M. and Barnes I. Nature 438, 850-853.

Evolution of the extinct sabertooth and American cheetah (2005) Barnett, R., Barnes, I., Phillips, M., Martin, L.D., van Bree, P. and Cooper, A. Current Biology 15, 589-590.

The long-term survival of ancient DNA in Egypt (2005) Gilbert, M., Barnes, I., Collins, M., Smith, C., Eklund, J., Goudsmit, J., Poinar, H., Cooper A. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 128, 110-114.

Ancient DNA provides new insights into the evolutionary history of New Zealand's extinct giant eagle (2005) Bunce, M., Szulkin, M, Lerner, H.R.L., Barnes, I., Shapiro, B., Cooper, A. and Holdaway, R. Public Library of Science: Biology 3.


Rise and fall of the Beringian Steppe Bison (2004) Shapiro, B., Drummond, A., Rambaut, A., Wilson, M., Matheus, P., Sher, A., Pybus, O., Gilbert, M., Barnes, I., and 18 other authors Science 306, 1561-1565.


Characterization of genetic miscoding lesions caused by postmortem damage (2003) Gilbert, M., Hansen, A., Willerslev, E., Rudbeck, L., Barnes, I., Lynnerup, N., Cooper, A.American Journal of Human Genetics 72, 48-61.

Distribution patterns of postmortem damage in human mitochondrial DNA (2003) Gilbert, M., Willerslev, E., Hansen, A., Barnes, I., Rudbeck, L., Lynnerup, N., Cooper, A. American Journal of Human Genetics 72, 32-47.


Ancient DNA (2002) Barnes, I. and Thomas, M. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Evolution, M. Pagel (editor-in-chief). OUP, Oxford.

Dynamics of Pleistocene Population Extinctions in Beringian Brown Bears. (2002) Barnes, I., Matheus, P., Shapiro, B., Jensen, D., Cooper, A. Science 295, 2267-2270.

Contamination in the draft of the human genome masquerades as lateral gene transfer. (2002) Willerslev, E., Mourier, T., Hansen, A., Christensen, B., Barnes, I., Salzberg S. DNA Sequence 13, 75-6.


Long-term DNA Survival in Ethanol-Preserved Archival Material. (2001) Spigleman, M., Barnes, I., Holton, J., Vaira, D. and Thomas, M. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons 83, 283-4.

A Molecular Analysis of Dietary Diversity for Three Archaic Native Americans. (2001) Poinar, H., Kuch, M., Sobolik, K., Barnes, I., Stankiewicz, A., Kuder, T., Spaulding, W., Bryant, V., Cooper, A., Pääbo S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 98, 4317-4322.


An Assessment of the Long-Term Preservation of the DNA of a Bacterial Pathogen in Ethanol-Preserved Archival Material. (2000) Barnes, I., Spigelman, M., Holton, J. Vaira, D. and Thomas, M. Journal of Pathology 192, 554-559.

DNA-based Identification of Goose species from Two Archaeological Sites in Lincolnshire. (2000) Barnes, I., Dobney, K. and Young, J.P.W. Journal of Archaeological Science 27, 91-100.


Hylobatid Systematics: An analysis based on morphological and molecular data (1998) Chatterjee, H., Barnes, I. and Thomas, M. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 28, 105.

The Molecular Palaeoecology of Wildfowl (1998) Barnes, I., Dobney K. and Young J.P.W. Ancient Biomolecules 1: 251.

The Molecular Palaeoecology of Geese: Identification of Archaeological Goose Remains using Ancient DNA Analysis (1998) Barnes, I., Dobney, K. and Young, J.P.W. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 8, 218-223.


Protein Identification of Blood Residues on Experimental Stone Tools (1996) Tuross, N., Barnes, I. and Potts, R. Journal of Archaeological Science 23, 289-296.