I’m a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The focus of my PhD thesis is on leveraging ancient DNA to improve the models of demographic history of anatomically modern humans, with a particular emphasis on their interactions with the Neanderthals.
Although most of my daily work involves digging through messy ancient DNA sequences, I enjoy working with all kinds of data. In fact, my primary motivation for switching from computer science and software engineering to research was my dream of doing data-detective work while making cool plots. Luckily for me, my naive ideas mostly came true.
When I’m not programming or doing science, I’m either playing board games, bouldering, reading books, cooking/eating vegan food, or listening to really heavy music.
My general scientific interests involve using ancient and present-day DNA data, population genetics theory and computer simulations to understand various aspects of evolutionary histories humans and other species, such as the dynamics of population migration, admixture and extinction.
Specifically, I have been working on:
- Modeling the timing and geographic range of contact between modern humans and Neanderthals.
- Understanding the functional consequences of introgression on modern human genomes.
- Fitting models of historical gene flow events between modern human subpopulations.
I'm also a big proponent of open science and reproducibility. I'm constantly on the lookout for better ways to perform reproducible research, sometimes writing new software when I see that there are important tools missing.
If you have problems accessing any of my papers, please get in touch. I'm happy to share any of them in a PDF format.
Petr M., Pääbo S., Kelso J.* and Vernot B.* (2019) Limits of long-term selection against Neandertal introgression.
PNAS, 116, 1639-1644. (link)
Hajdinjak H., Fu Q., Hübner A., Petr M., et al. (2017) Reconstructing the genetic history of late Neanderthals. Nature, 555, 652–656. (link)
Fu Q., Posth C., Hajdinjak M., Petr M., et al. (2016) The genetic history of Ice Age Europe. Nature, 534, 200–205. (link)
If you're interested in the software I've written, check out my profile on GitHub.