w_Human Evolutionary Biology



Department (s)
Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology

Knowledge area
Physical Anthropology

PI: Concepción de la Rua Vaca Co-PI: 


Concepción De La Rúa Vaca, Santos Alonso Alegre, Neskuts Izagirre Arribalzaga, Montse Hervella Afonso, Sonia Olaechea Lázaro, Nerea Garcia Ventades, Asier San Juan Nó


Ancient DNA, paleogenomics, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), bioarchaeology, cultural heritage, bioinformatics, pigmentation, molecular evolution, population genetics,  melanocytes, melanoma


The activity of our group spins around two main research topics: one is the analysis of the evolution at the genomic scale of human skin pigmentation and its association to   related diseases such as cutaneous melanoma; the other one is human evolutionary history by means of ancient DNA of human and other animal species (paleogenomics) of different antiquity (from Paleolithic to the Middle Ages). The analytical resources are based on molecular biology techniques as well as population genetics and bioinformatic resources, with diverse goals spanning from phylogenetic reconstruction to genetic association.

Research lines

  1. PALEOGENOMICS: HUMAN EVOLUTIONARY DIVERSITY: we reconstruct the genomic information relevant to humans and other animal species with the goal to understand the adaptive processes that shaped the evolutionary history of those species that inhabited Eurasia since 400kya., in relation not only to the natural environment but also to the social and cultural environment.
  2. SKIN PIGMENTATION AND MELANOMA: We investigate the evolutionary adaptive processes that humans have endured across their evolution. In particular, we investigate the genomic diversity associated to the pigmentary differences between individuals both within an evolutionary context and in the context of their association to disease (melanoma risk). We analyze sequence data from exomes (WES), full genomes (WGS), RNA-Seq, methilation and ChIP-Seq.


  • Digital PCR
  • Cuantitative PCR
  • Bioanalyzer
  • Sequencer
  • Data server

Website link