Ancient DNA laboratory

Working in the molecular labs


Our highly specialised Ancient DNA Lab provides the clean working environment and work-stream processes needed to support the industry standard criteria of authenticity for validated ancient DNA discoveries.

Working in the lab

Anyone working in the Ancient DNA lab must read and sign the guidelines before starting work.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

The study of ancient DNA is relevant to many areas of research including:

  • molecular archaeology and bio-archaeology
  • palaeobiology
  • evolutionary genetics,
  • micro-evolutionary processes
  • models of population genetics and population movements
  • genomics and climate change
  • panspermia
  • Museum collection analysis. 

The space is also suitable for forensic evaluations or for work on limited amounts of irreplaceable material.  

Ancient DNA in evolutionary biology

Although the questions that can be answered by studying ancient DNA are limited by the degree of DNA preservation, it can be a very important and powerful source of information.

For example, it allows us to:

  • compare the genetic diversity found in a modern population to that of an ancient population
  • observe how species or populations react and respond to changes in their environment.

Ancient DNA analysis is being increasingly incorporated into research addressing questions relating to:

  • past population dynamics
  • phylogeography
  • phylogeny
  • palaeoenvironmental reconstructions
  • conservation genetics.

What is ancient DNA?

Ancient DNA can be described as any DNA extracted from ancient biological specimens, such as archaeological bones, teeth or other tissue.  

Ancient DNA can derive from a wide spectrum of sources, including:

  • animal and plant remains
  • ice and permafrost cores
  • marine sediments.