María C. Ávila-Arcos

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We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal(More)
The genetic background of the European Mesolithic and the extent of population replacement during the Neolithic is poorly understood, both due to the scarcity of human remains from that period and the inherent methodological difficulties of ancient DNA research. However, advances in sequencing technologies are both increasing data yields and providing(More)
Although endogenous retroviruses are common across vertebrate genomes, the koala retrovirus (KoRV) is the only retrovirus known to be currently invading the germ line of its host. KoRV is believed to have first infected koalas in northern Australia less than two centuries ago. We examined KoRV in 28 koala museum skins collected in the late 19th and 20th(More)
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal marsupial that was historically widespread across eastern Australia until the end of the 19th century when it suffered a steep population decline. Hunting for the fur trade, habitat conversion, and disease contributed to a precipitous reduction in koala population size during the late 1800s and early 1900s.(More)
How and when the Americas were populated remains contentious. Using ancient and modern genome-wide data, we found that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans, including Athabascans and Amerindians, entered the Americas as a single migration wave from Siberia no earlier than 23 thousand years ago (ka) and after no more than an 8000-year isolation(More)
The analysis and profiling of short tandem repeat (STR) loci is routinely used in forensic genetics. Current methods to investigate STR loci, including PCR-based standard fragment analyses and capillary electrophoresis, only provide amplicon lengths that are used to estimate the number of STR repeat units. These methods do not allow for the full resolution(More)
The development of second-generation sequencing technologies has greatly benefitted the field of ancient DNA (aDNA). Its application can be further exploited by the use of targeted capture-enrichment methods to overcome restrictions posed by low endogenous and contaminating DNA in ancient samples. We tested the performance of Agilent's SureSelect and(More)
Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios(More)
Global climate change during the Late Pleistocene periodically encroached and then released habitat during the glacial cycles, causing range expansions and contractions in some species. These dynamics have played a major role in geographic radiations, diversification and speciation. We investigate these dynamics in the most widely distributed of marine(More)
Given the major threat of influenza A to human and animal health, and its ability to evolve rapidly through mutation and reassortment, tools that enable its timely characterization are necessary to help monitor its evolution and spread. For this purpose, deep sequencing can be a very valuable tool. This study reports a comprehensive method that enables deep(More)