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Lisa Matisoo-Smith

Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Otago

The Matisoo-Smith lab focuses primarily on identifying the origins of Pacific peoples and their commensal plants and animals in order to better understand the settlement, history and prehistory of the Pacific and New Zealand. They utilize both ancient and modern DNA methods to answer a range of anthropological questions regarding population histories, dispersals and interactions.

The Matisoo-Smith team is working on a range of projects funded by a variety of organizations, but the overarching research theme of the lab and the research group is Molecular Anthropology and Ancient DNA analyses. They have a purpose built, state-of-the-art ancient DNA laboratory, located in the University of Otago Richardson Building, as well as a fully equipped modern DNA lab in the University's Lindo Ferguson Building.


  • –present
    Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Otago