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Anna Linderholm

Dr. Anna Linderholm
Distinguished Lecture Series Coordinator, Archaeology Program Coordinator
Associate Professor
  • (979) 845-6692
  • Anthropology 311A
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PhD, Stockholm University, 2008


ancient DNA, stable isotopes

Current Research Projects:

I am an archaeologist and molecular biologist with a special interest in scientific methods applied on archaeological materials, namely ancient DNA and stable isotopes. During my PhD at the Archaeological Research Laboratory at Stockholm University, Sweden I started working on large skeletal assemblies from Neolithic sites in Sweden. I used both stable isotopes as well as ancient DNA to investigate past populations. I investigated migration and human movement in prehistory through a variety of methods. The investigations concerning migration was implemented on a wide range of archaeological questions such as the Neolithic transition, the genetic origins of the main Neolithic culture groups in Sweden, the Funnel Beaker and the Pitted Ware cultures and the burial patterns on Birka to name a few. The starting material for all analysis was skeletal material from both humans and animals.

After finishing my PhD I spent one year as a PostDoc in Ireland. I divided my time between the University College Cork, Cork and the Molecular Population Genetics Smurfit Institute of Genetics Trinity College, Dublin. Using ancient DNA I worked on archaeological faunal remains from eastern parts of Europe.

In 2010 I started working in Durham looking at evolution, domestication, and civilization in Islands of South East Asia. We are trying to identify the process of domestication and the patterns of human movement across the oceans, using animals as a proxy. Our primary datasets consist of modern and ancient DNA extracted from current and archaeological specimens from pigs, dogs and chickens.

In January 2016 I will be joining the Anthropology Department at Texas A&M, where I will be setting up a new ancient DNA lab. I will be working on wide range of topics based on archaeological samples from both human and animal collections. Apart from evolution, migration and domestication I have a big interest in climate change and the effect it has on our genes. I will start my teaching with a course in ancient DNA.

Since 2014 I am working in Oxford in the Paleao-BARN studying Dog domestication. I use state-of-the art ancient DNA techniques to try and determine when and were it happened and maybe more interesting how many times it happened. In order to for us to do so, we will characterize and track fine-scale genetic variation in wolves and dogs through space and time thus allowing us to determine whether dogs were domesticated just once in a single location or multiple (independent) times across Eurasia.

Courses Taught:

Courses Taught:

ANTH 305 – Fundamentals of Anthropological Writing
ANTH 350 – Old World Archaeology
ANTH 489/689 – Ancient Genetics
ANTH 489/689 – Introduction to Anthropological Genetics
ANTH 489/689 – The Viking Age

Current Graduate Students:

Taryn Johnson, Lauren Jones

Selected and Recent Publications:

2016           Linderholm, A., Spencer, D., Battista, V., Frantz, L., Barnett, R., Fleischer, R.C., James, H.F., Duffy, D., Sparks, J.P., Clements, D.R., An dersson, L., Dobney, K., Leonard, J.A., Larson, G. A novel MC1R allele for black coat colour reveals the Polynesian ancestry and hybridization patterns of Hawaiian feral pigs. Royal Society Open Science 3 (9), 160304

2016          Maselli, V., Rippa, D., Deluca, A., Larson, G., Wilkens, B., Linderholm, A., Masseti, M., Fulgione, D. Southern Italian wild boar population, hotspot of genetic diversity. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy 27 (2).

2016           Frantz, L.A. F., Mullin, V. E., Pionnier-Capitan, M., Lebrasseur, O., Ollivier, M., Perri, Linderholm, A., Mattiangeli, V., Teasdale, M. D., Dimopoulos, E. A., Tresset, A., Duffraisse, M., McCormick, F., Bartosiewicz, L., Gál, E., Nyerges, É. A., Sablin, M. V., Bréhard, S., Mashkour, M., Bălăşescu, A., Gillet, B., Hughes, S., Chassaing, O., Hitte, C., Vigne, J-D., Dobney, K., Hänni, C., Bradley, D. G., Larson, G. Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs. Science 352 (6290), 1228-1231.

2016           Webb, E.C., Honch, N.H., Dunn, P. JH, Linderholm, A., Eriksson, G., Lidén, K., Evershed, R.P. Compound-specific amino acid isotopic proxies for distinguishing between terrestrial and aquatic resource consumption. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 1-18.

2016           Linderholm, A. Ancient DNA Next Generation Sequencing: Chapter and Verse. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 117 (1), 150-160

2014           Thomson, V., Lebrasseur, O., Austin, J.J., Hunt, T.L., Burney, D.A., Denham, T., Rawlence, N.J., Wood, J.R.,Gongora, J., Girdland Flink, L., Linderholm, A., Dobney, K., Larson, G., Cooper, A. Using ancient DNA to study the origins and dispersal of ancestral Polynesian chickens across the Pacific. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1114826-4831

2011           Kjellstöm, A., Linderholm, A. Stable Isotope Analysis of a Medieval Skeletal Sample Indicative of Leprosy from Sigtuna Sweden. Journal of Archaeological Science, (38) 4:925-933.

2009          Kjellstöm, A, Storå, J, Possnert, G, Linderholm, A. Dietary patterns and social structures in Medieval Sigtuna, Sweden, as reflected in stable isotope values in human skeletal remains. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36:2689-2699.