Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

Experience Makes a Difference

Academic studies. Career exploration. Community involvement.

We aim to enrich undergraduate education in the Faculty of Social Sciences through fostering unique approaches to learning within the classroom and more actively engaging students in the community, as well as promoting strong relationships between academic studies, career exploration and community involvement.

About Us

The McMaster Ancient DNA Centre approaches a wide range of evolutionary and molecular biological questions using DNA and proteins from archaeological, paleontological, and forensic remains. We use state-of-the-art techniques to extract and sequence these molecules, discerning origins and population histories of a wide range of species, both extinct and extant. This allows us to follow evolution in action, directly testing models based on modern theory and observation.

The questions we address range from highly technical ones such as…

  • How long and under what circumstances does DNA persist in various fossil and geologic contexts?
  • How can we reliably and efficiently access even the most degraded of DNAs?
  • Can ancient DNA be repaired to make it more accessible?
  • How can we adapt modern techniques in DNA sequencing to ancient and forensic DNA?

To more evolutionary based questions…

  • How were past diseases different from their present-day strains?
  • What was the genetic diversity in extinct mammoth populations?
  • Why did the North American megafauna (mammoths, sloths, horses) all go extinct?
  • What were the giant ground sloths of the American Southwest eating over the last 40,000 years?

Congratulations to Tyler Murchie on the Prestigous W. Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Tyler James Murchie on receieinvg the W. Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research from Council Norther Studies Trust!

May 29, 2018

Evolution of the Mylodontidae and Arborealism in Sloths

Nuclear and mitochondrial data from Darwin's extinct ground sloth shows close relation to two-fingered sloths and supports multiple origins for arboreality.

May 25, 2018

Ancient DNA and Isotopes Reveal Roman Italian Ancestry and Family Relationships

McMaster Researcher reveal complex population dynamics in the wake of Roman subjugation of the Italian Peninsula (3rd century BCE)

May 09, 2018