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 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)
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)
One of the main findings derived from the analysis of the Neandertal genome was the evidence for admixture between Neandertals and non-African modern humans. An alternative scenario is that the ancestral population of non-Africans was closer to Neandertals than to Africans because of ancient population substructure. Thus, the study of North African(More)
Analysing population genomic data from killer whale ecotypes, which we estimate have globally radiated within less than 250,000 years, we show that genetic structuring including the segregation of potentially functional alleles is associated with socially inherited ecological niche. Reconstruction of ancestral demographic history revealed bottlenecks during(More)
The origin of maize (Zea mays mays) in the US Southwest remains contentious, with conflicting archaeological data supporting either coastal(1-4) or highland(5,6) routes of diffusion of maize into the United States. Furthermore, the genetics of adaptation to the new environmental and cultural context of the Southwest is largely uncharacterized(7). To address(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)
Ancient DNA (aDNA) recovered from archaeobotanical remains can provide key insights into many prominent archaeological research questions, including processes of domestication, past subsistence strategies, and human interactions with the environment. However, it is often difficult to isolate aDNA from ancient plant materials, and furthermore, such DNA(More)