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Meeting Rationale

Ancient DNA has transformed our understanding of the past, revealing the otherwise-hidden history of human, animal, plant, and microbial populations, and how they have been intertwined throughout time. The advent of large scale ancient population datasets, high coverage genomes and low coverage-optimised imputation algorithms now allow for a new phase of ancient genomic analysis, stepping beyond conventional allele-sharing approaches. These novel analyses exploit the power inherent to haplotypes and allow for a fine-scaled understanding of ancient relationships and demographies to be reconstructed.

Meeting Goals

The SMBE Satellite Meeting on Ancient DNA Beyond Allele Frequencies will capitalise on this burgeoning field, bringing together researchers utilising these methods across human and non-human species. The meeting venue will be Trinity College Dublin, in the centre of Dublin, Ireland’s oldest University and hosting its only ancient DNA laboratory.

The meeting will be explicitly friendly to Early Career Researchers, and aims to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices for those working on a range of species. To facilitate this and to take stock of the field, roundtable discussions will be held during the meeting to discuss opportunities, standards and benchmarks.

In addition to Plenary Speakers, the meeting will be composed of presentations, poster sessions, and social events to ensure dissemination of ideas and networking opportunities for researchers across all career levels


This meeting will be held at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. This venue is located in the heart of Dublin city and it has all the characteristics necessary to host an international meeting.


Please see SMBE satellite meeting Dublin PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME

The meeting will include

    Three plenary talks
    Five sessions with contributing research talks
    Two poster sessions
    Two round tables
    Two evening social events

Plenary Speakers

Dr Leo Speidel

Leo Speidel is currently a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at UCL and the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK and previously received his PhD in the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford. He develops methods that reconstruct the genealogical trees relating modern human genomes together with those sequenced from ancient bones, to learn about our evolutionary past. His work explores how evolutionary forces have shaped genetic variation observed today and how these may impact our health.

Dr Lara Cassidy

Lara Cassidy graduated in Human Genetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2013, receiving a gold medal for her academic achievements. She worked as a research assistant under Prof. Jun Kitano at the National Institute of Genetics in Japan, publishing on speciation in stickleback fish populations. She was subsequently awarded a scholarship by the Irish Research Council to pursue a Ph.D. in ancient genomics at Prof. Dan Bradley's lab at the Trinity, which she was awarded in 2018. Her doctoral focus was the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the study of Irish prehistory, which resolved longstanding questions on the origins of the modern population. She expanded upon this work as a postdoctoral researcher, before soon joining the staff at the Department of Genetics as an assistant professor in 2020. Throughout her career, Lara has published extensively and with wide-reaching impact in ancient genomics. Her research has been repeatedly featured in top journals such as Nature, Science, PNAS and Nature Communications and covered by major international news outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC). In 2019, she was awarded an honorary life fellowship at the Adelphi Genetics Forum.

Dr Benjamin Peter

Currently, Benjamin Peter is a Research Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany). He also recently (in January 2024) started an Assistant Professor position in the Biology Department at the University of Rochester. Before that, he was a postdoc with John Novembre at the University of Chicago, and he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, jointly advised by Rasmus Nielsen and Monty Slatkin. He is widely interested in methods and applications of population and evolutionary genetics. Currently, he is primarily focussed on analyzing Neandertal DNA from fossils with minimal DNA preservation, and studying the interactions of Neandertals, Denisovans and early humans through time. He is also working on theory and methods to conceptualize, formailze and estimate population structure.

Fees and Participants

Students (€100)

Non-students (€130)

Online access (€10)

Fee includes meeting attendance contribution, on-campus two-bedroom shared apartments for three nights, lunch, coffee breaks, and food at evening social events.

Due to space restrictions and the focus on networking, this meeting will cater for approximatately 60 participants. Participants will be chosen based on their submitted abstracts, with the encouragement of a diversity of research, participant geographic locations and career stages.

If you are interested in attending, please contact the organisers (see email contacts below).

Support for attendees

Thanks to our sponsors below, we have received generous funding to run this event as a SMBE satellite meeting. This support includes travel awards for attendees that contribute to our goal to create a meeting with diverse research topics, demographics, and geography.

To facilitate this we have made available 6 graduate student and 2 postdoc travel awards. These are budgeted at a maximum of €350 for EU/UK (4 awardees) and €850 for non-EU/UK (4 awardees), to cover flight, meeting fees, additional subsidence etc.

Please indicate in your submission why you would be appropriate for a travel award.


All organisers are based at Trinity College, Dublin. Please email if you have any questions.

Dr Emily Breslin

Dr Marco Rosario Capodiferro

Dr Kevin G. Daly

Dr Anahit Hovhannisyan

Dr Valeria Mattiangeli

Dr Victoria E. Mullin

Dr Linda Ongaro


We greatly appreciate the assistance of our sponsors who have made this meeting possible:

Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE)

Department of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin

Agilent Technologies

ELDA Biotech

Fáilte Ireland

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact the organisers.