Marta Mirazon Lahr

Reader in Human Evolutionary Biology & Director of the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge

I have lived in different places - I was born in Argentina, but grew up in Brasil, where I studied Bioloby at the University of Sao Paolo, where I also held my first lectureship after a PhD and post-doc at Cambridge, where I have been working since 1999. I am a Fellow of Clare College, a Reader in Human Evolutionary Biology and Director of the Duckworth Collection at the University of Cambridge, where with my husband, Robert Foley, we founded the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies.

The focus of my research is the evolution and diversity of our species, Homo sapiens. My work involves a range of disciplines - human palaeontology, evolutionary genetics, behavioural ecology, prehistoric archaeology and Quaternary African palaeontology. I have done fieldwork in the Amazon, the South Pacific, India, Oman, Libya and Kenya. I am the director of the IN-AFRICA Project in Kenya supported by an ERC Advanced Grant, and co-investigator in the African Genomes Project with the GeoGenetics Centre of Copenhagen.

Experience

  • 2013–present
    Visiting professor, Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen
  • 1999–present
    Fellow , Clare College, Cambridge
  • 2000–present
    Director of the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge
  • –present
    Reader in Human Evolutionary Biology, University of Cambridge

Education

  • 1992 
    University of Cambridge, PhD
  • 1987 
    University of Cambridge, MPhil
  • 1986 
    University of Sao Paulo, BSc in Biological Sciences

Publications

  • 2016
    Virtual Ancestor Reconstruction: revealing the ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals, Journal of Human Evolution
  • 2015
    Early divergent strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia five thousand years ago, Cell
  • 2015
    Lithic landscapes: Early human impact from stone tool production on the Central Saharan environment, PLoSONE
  • 2015
    Climatic correlates of human subsistence: a global analysis, Applied Ecology and Environmental Research
  • 2014
    The Genetic Prehistory of the New World Arctic, Science
  • 2014
    Unravelling the distinct strains of Tharu ancestry, European Journal of Human Genetics
  • 2014
    Genomic structure in Europeans dating back at least 36,200 years, Science
  • 2014
    Two ancient human genomes reveal Polynesian ancestry among the indigenous Botocudos of Brazil, Current Biology
  • 2014
    Dental indicators of adaptation in the Saharan Desert during the late Holocene, Homo: Journal of Comparative Human Biology
  • 2014
    The role of ‘the aquatic’ in human evolution: constraining the aquatic ape hypothesis, Evolutionary Anthropology
  • 2013
    Patterns of variation at diabetes and obesity associated loci mirror neutral patterns of human population diversity and diabetes prevalence in India, Annals of Human Genetics
  • 2013
    The Middle Stone Age of the Central Sahara: Biogeographical opportunities and technological strategies in later human evolution, Quaternary International
  • 2013
    The Light Skin Allele of SLC24A5 in South Asians and Europeans Shares Identity by Descent, PLoS Genetics
  • 2013
    Evolution of the pygmy phenotype: Evidence of positive selection from genome-wide scans in African, Asian and Melanesian pygmies, Human Biology
  • 2013
    Genetic and fossil evidence for modern human origins, Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology
  • 2013
    Methodological considerations in the statistical analysis of degenerative joint and disc disease, International Journal of Paleopathology
  • 2013
    Evidence of trephinations among the Garamantes, a late Holocene Saharan population, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
  • 2013
    Late Holocene desert-induced stress and human migrations through the Sahara: the case of the Garamantes, Holocene: Perspectives, Environmental Dynamics and Impact Events
  • 2012
    Herders of Indian and European cattle share their predominant allele for lactase persistence, Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • 2012
    Sahara: Barrier or corridor? Nonmetric cranial traits and biological affinities of North African Late Holocene populations, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • 2012
    Three-dimensional cranial shape analyses and gene flow in North Africa during the Middle to Late Holocene, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
  • 2011
    Genetic diversity and evidence for population admixture in Batak Negritos from Palawan, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • 2011
    Population genetic structure in Indian Austroasiatic speakers: The role of landscape barriers and sex-specific admixture, Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • 2011
    The evolution of the diversity of cultures, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B
  • 2011
    DMP XII: Excavations and Survey of the so-called Garamantian Royal Cemetery (GSC030-031), Libyan Studies
  • 2011
    DMP XIV: Prehistoric sites in the Wadi Barjuj, Fazzan, Libyan Sahara, Libyan Studies
  • 2011
    Activity patterns in the Sahara Desert: An interpretation based on cross-sectional geometry, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • 2011
    Simple algorithms for the estimation of the most likely number of individuals from commingled remains, American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • 2011
    Aboriginal Australian Genome Obtained from Hundred-Year-Old Lock of Hair Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia, Science
  • 2010
    Ancient Solomon Islands mtDNA: assessing Holocene settlement and the impact of European contact, Journal of Archaeological Science
  • 2010
    DMP IX: Summary report on the fourth season of excavations of the burials and identity team, Libyan Studies
  • 2010
    Why are Pygmies so short? , Human Biology
  • 2010
    Saharan Corridors and Their Role in the Evolutionary Geography of ‘Out of Africa I’, Out of Africa I: The First Hominin Colonization of Eurasia
  • 2010
    DMP XI: Preliminary results from 2010 fieldwork on the human prehistory of the Libyan Sahara, Libyan Studies
  • 2010
    Human Skeletal Remains, Archaeology of Fazzan III
  • 2010
    A metric study of three types of cranial modification from North-Central Peru, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
  • 2010
    Philippine mitochondrial DNA diversity: A populated viaduct between Taiwan and Indonesia? , Molecular Biology and Evolution

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    IN-AFRICA: The role of East Africa in the evolution of human diversity
    Role:
    Principal Investigator
    Funding Source:
    European Research Council