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Dr Wolfgang Haak

Telephone +61 8 8313 5565
Position Research Fellow
Fax +61 8 8313 4364
Building Darling Building
Floor/Room 2 05c
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Ecology and Environmental Science

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Research Interests

My research interests and my research area are best described as 'human palaeobiology' or 'molecular archaeology'. Here I work at the interface of conventional disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, molecular genetics and medical and forensic sciences. I most notably utilise the time-travelling ability of ancient genetic data at the population level to create new views on evolutionary and cultural changes in the complex journey of the human past, mostly via comparison with large datasets from modern-day populations.

Research Funding

ARC funded research projects


DP130102158 (2013-2015) Haak W, Ho SY, Llamas B, Behar DM

Refining the timescale of human evolution and dispersal using ancient DNA


DP1095782 (2010-2012) Haak W, Llamas B, Quintana-Murci L, Hughes AL

A shipload of consequences: studying the impact of Old World diseases on native South American populations via ancient DNA


Google Scholar
Refereed journal articles

Templeton JEL, Brotherton PM, Llamas B, Soubrier J, Haak W, Cooper A, Austin J. DNA capture and Next Generation Sequencing recover whole mitochondrial genomes from highly degraded samples for human identification. Investigative Genetics (in press).

Brandt G*, Haak W*, Adler CJ, Roth C, Szécsényi-Nagy A, Karimnia S, Möller-Rieker S, Meller H, Ganslmeier R, Friederich S, Dresely V, Nicklisch N, Pickrell J, Sirocko F, Reich D, Cooper A, Alt KW, The Genographic Consortium (2013). Ancient DNA Reveals Key Stages in the Formation of Central European Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity. Science 342: 257-261. doi:10.1126/science.1241844.

Mundorff AZ, Kiley S, Latham KE, Haak W, Gilson T (2013) Individualizing Unidentified Skeletal Remains: A Differential Diagnosis Combining Pathological Changes and Biomolecular Testing. Journal of Forensic Identification 63 (6): 617-632.

Boattini A, Martinez-Cruz B, Sarno S, Harmant C, Useli A, Sanz P, Yang-Yao D, Manry J, Ciani G, Luiselli D, Quintana-Murci L, Comas D, Pettener D, The Genographic Consortium (2013). Uniparental markers in Italy reveal a sex-biased genetic structure and different historical strata. PLoS One 8 (5): e65441. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065441.

Elhaik E, Greenspan E, Staats S, Krahn T, Tyler-Smith C, Xue Y, Tofanelli S, Francalacci P, Cucca F, Pagani L, Jin L, Li H, Schurr TG, Greenspan B, Spencer Wells R, The Genographic Consortium (2013) The GenoChip: a new tool for genetic anthropology. Genome Biology and Evolution(5): 1021-31. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evt066.

Brotherton P*, Haak W*, Templeton J, Brandt G, Soubrier J, Adler CJ, Richards SM, Der Sarkissian C, Ganslmeier R, Friederich S, Dresely V, van Oven M, Kenyon R, Van der Hoek M, Korlach J, Luong K, Ho SYW, Quintana-Murci L, Behar DM, Meller H, Alt KW, Cooper A & The Genographic Project (2013) Neolithic mitochondrial haplogroup H genomes and the genetic origins of Europeans. Nature Communications 4 (1764). doi:10.1038/ncomms2656.

Adler CJ, Dobney K, Weyrich L, Kaidonis J, Walker AW, Haak W, Bradshaw CJA, Townsend G, Sołtysiak, A, Alt KW, Parkhill J, Cooper, A (2013). Ancient DNA records the impacts of the Neolithic and Industrial revolutions on human oral microbiota and disease. Nature Genetics. Advance online publication. doi:10.1038/ng.2536.

Der Sarkissian C, Balanovsky O, Brandt G, Khartanovich V, Buzhilova A, Koshel S, Zaporozhchenko V, Moiseyev V, Gronenborn D, Kolpakov E, Shumkin V, Alt KW, Balanovska E, Cooper A, Haak W, The Genographic Consortium (2013). Ancient DNA Reveals Prehistoric Gene-Flow from Siberia in the Complex Human Population History of North East Europe. PLoS Genetics 9 (2): e1003296. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003296.

Fehren-Schmitz L, Llamas B, Tomasto-Cagigao E, Haak W (2012) Ancient DNA and the early population history of western South America: what have we learned so far and where do we go from here? Boletin Arqueologia PUCP 15. [Spanish].

Badro DA, Douaihy B, Haber M, Youhanna SC, Salloum A, Ghassibe-Sabbagh M, Johnsrud B, Khazen G, Matisoo-Smith E, Soria-Hernanz DF, Wells RS, Tyler-Smith C, Platt DE, Zalloua PA, The Genographic Consortium (2013) Y chromosome and mtDNA Genetics Reveal Significant Contrasts in Affinities of Modern Middle Eastern Populations with European and African Populations. PLoS One 8 (1): e54616. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054616.

Behar DM, Harman t C, Manry J, van Oven M, Haak W, Martinez-Cruz B, Salaberria J, Oyharçabal B, Bauduer F, Comas D, Quintana-Murci L, The Genographic Consortium (2012) The Basque paradigm: genetic evidence of a maternal continuity in the Franco-Cantabrian Region since the Late Paleolithic. American Journal of Human Genetics 90 (3): 486-493. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.01.002.

Arunkumar G, Soria-Hernanz DF, Kavitha VJ, Arun VS, Syama A, Ashokan KS, Gandhirajan KT, Vijayakumar K, Narayanan M, Jayalakshmi M, Ziegle JS, Royyuru AK, Parida L, Wells RS, Renfrew C, Schurr TG, Smith CT, Platt DE, Pitchappan R, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Population differentiation of southern Indian male lineages correlates with agricultural expansions predating the caste system. PLoS One 7 (11): e50269. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050269.

Martínez-Cruz B, Harmant C, Platt DE, Haak W, Manry J, Ramos-Luis E, Soria-Hernanz DF, Bauduer F, Salaberria J, Oyharçabal B, Quintana-Murci L, Comas D, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Evidence of Pre-Roman Tribal Genetic Structure in Basques from Uniparentally Inherited Markers. Molecular Biology & Evolution 29 (9): 2211-2222. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mss091.

Dulik MC, Owings AC, Gaieski JB, Vilar MG, Andre A, Lennie C, Mackenzie MA, Kritsch I, Snowshoe S, Wright R, Martin J, Gibson N, Andrews TD, Schurr TG, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Y-chromosome analysis reveals genetic divergence and new founding native lineages in Athapaskan- and Eskimoan-speaking populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (22): 8471-6.

Rębała K, Martínez-Cruz B, Tönjes A, Kovacs P, Stumvoll M, Lindner I, Büttner A, Wichmann HE, Siváková D, Soták M, Quintana-Murci L, Szczerkowska Z, Comas D, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Contemporary paternal genetic landscape of Polish and German populations: from early medieval Slavic expansion to post-World War II resettlements. European Journal of Human Genetics. Sep 12. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.190.

Martinez-Cruz B, Ioana M, Calafell F, Arauna LR, Sanz P, Ionescu R, Boengiu S, Kalaydjieva L, Pamjav H, Makukh H, Plantinga T, van der Meer JW, Comas D, Netea MG, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Y-Chromosome Analysis in Individuals Bearing the Basarab Name of the First Dynasty of Wallachian Kings. PLoS One 7 (7): e41803.

Schurr TG, Dulik MC, Owings AC, Zhadanov SI, Gaieski JB, Vilar MG, Ramos J, Moss MB, Natkong F, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Clan, language, and migration history has shaped genetic diversity in Haida and Tlingit populations from Southeast Alaska. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148 (3): 422-35. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22068.

Haber M, Platt DE, Ashrafian Bonab M, Youhanna SC, Soria-Hernanz DF, Martínez-Cruz B, Douaihy B, Ghassibe-Sabbagh M, Rafatpanah H, Ghanbari M, Whale J, Balanovsky O, Wells RS, Comas D, Tyler-Smith C, Zalloua PA, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Afghanistan's ethnic groups share a Y-chromosomal heritage structured by historical events. PLoS One 7 (3) :e34288.

Lu Y, Wang C, Qin Z, Wen B, Farina SE, Jin L, Li H, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Mitochondrial origin of the matrilocal Mosuo people in China. Mitochondrial DNA 23 (1): 13-9.

Kang L, Lu Y, Wang C, Hu K, Chen F, Liu K, Li S, Jin L, Li H, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Y-chromosome O3 haplogroup diversity in Sino-Tibetan populations reveals two migration routes into the eastern Himalayas. Annuals of Human Genetics 76 (1): 92-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2011.00690.x.

Javed A, Melé M, Pybus M, Zalloua P, Haber M, Comas D, Netea MG, Balanovsky O, Balanovska E, Jin L, Yang Y, Arunkumar G, Pitchappan R, Bertranpetit J, Calafell F, Parida L, The Genographic Consortium (2012) Recombination networks as genetic markers in a human variation study of the Old World. Human Genetics 131 (4): 601-13. doi: 10.1007/s00439-011-1104-8.

Melé M, Javed A, Pybus M, Zalloua P, Haber M, Comas D, Netea MG, Balanovsky O, Balanovska E, Jin L, Yang Y, Pitchappan RM, Arunkumar G, Parida L, Calafell F, Bertranpetit J, and The Genographic Consortium (2012) Recombination gives a new insight in the effective population size and the history of the Old World human populations. Molecular Biology and Evolution 29 (1): 25-30.

Adler CJ, Haak W, Donlon D, Cooper A, The Genographic Consortium (2011) Survival and recovery of DNA from ancient teeth and bones. Journal of Archaeological Science 38 (5): 956-964.

Balanovsky O, Dibirova K, Dybo A, Mudrak O, Frolova S, Pocheshkhova E, Haber M, Platt D, Schurr T, Haak W, Kuznetsova M, Radzhabov M, Balaganskaya O, Druzhinina E, Zakharova T, Soria Hernanz DF, Zalloua P, Koshel S, Ruhlen M, Renfrew C, Wells RS, Tyler-Smith C, Balanovska E, The Genographic Consortium (2011) Parallel Evolution of Genes and Languages in the Caucasus Region. Molecular Biology & Evolution 28 (10): 2905-2920.

Gaieski JB, Owings AC, Vilar MG, Dulik MC, Gaieski DF, Gittelman RM, Lindo J, Gau L, Schurr TG, The Genographic Consortium (2011) Genetic ancestry and indigenous heritage in a Native American Descendant Community in Bermuda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146 (3): 392-405. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21588.

Cai X, Qin Z, Wen B, Xu S, Wang Y, Lu Y, Wei L, Wang C, Li S, Huang X, Jin L, Li H, The Genographic Consortium (2011) Human migration through bottlenecks from Southeast Asia into East Asia during Last Glacial Maximum revealed by Y chromosomes. PLoS One 6 (8): e24282.

Haber M, Platt DE, Badro DA, Xue Y, El-Sibai M, Bonab MA, Youhanna SC, Saade S, Soria-Hernanz DF, Royyuru A, Wells RS, Tyler-Smith C, Zalloua PA, The Genographic Consortium (2011) Influences of history, geography, and religion on genetic structure: the Maronites in Lebanon. European Journal of Human Genetics 19(3): 334-340.

Martínez-Cruz B, Ziegle J, Sanz P, Sotelo G, Anglada R, Plaza S, Comas D, and The Genographic Consortium (2011) Multiplex single-nucleotide polymorphism typing of the human Y chromosome using TaqMan probes. Investigative Genetics 2 (2): 13.

Jota MS, Lacerda DR, Sandoval J., Vieira PPR, Santos-Lopes SS, Bisso-Machado R, Paixão-Cortes VR, Revollo S, Paz-y-Miño C, Fujita R, Salzano FM, Bonatto SL, Bortolini MC, Tyler-Smith C, Santos FR, and The Genographic Consortium (2011) A new subhaplogroup of Native American Y-chromosomes from the Andes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology (DOI 10.1002/ajpa.21519).

Yan S, Wang CC, Li H, Li SL, Jin L, and The Genographic Consortium (2011) An updated tree of Y-chromosome Haplogroup O and revised phylogenetic positions of mutations P164 and PK4. European Journal of Human Genetics 19: 1013-1015.

Yang K, Zheng H, Qin Z, Lu Y, Farina SE, Li S, Jin L, Li D, Li H, and The Genographic Consortium (2011) Positive selection on mitochondrial M7 lineages among the Gelong people in Hainan. Journal of Human Genetics 56: 253-256.

Haak W, Balanovsky O, Sanchez JJ, Koshel S, Zaporozhchenko V, Adler CJ, Der Sarkissian CSI, Brandt G, Schwarz C, Nicklisch N, Dresely V, Fritsch B, Balanovska E, Villems R, Meller H, Alt KW, Cooper A, the Genographic Consortium (2010) Ancient DNA from European Early Neolithic Farmers Reveals Their Near Eastern Affinities. PLoS Biology 8 (11): e1000536.

Melé M, Javed A, Pybus M, Calafell F, Parida L, Bertranpetit J, The Genographic Consortium (2010) A New Method to Reconstruct Recombination Events at a Genomic Scale. PLoS Computational Biology 6(11): e1001010. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001010

Zhadanov SI, Dulik MC, Markley M, Jennings GW, Gaieski JB, Elias G, Schurr TG, and The Genographic Consortium (2010) Genetic heritage and native identity of the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142: 579-589.

Qin Z, Yang Y, Kang L, Yan S, Cho K, Cai X, Lu Y, Zheng H, Zhu D, Fei D, Li S, Jin L, Li H, The Genographic Consortium (2010) A mitochondrial revelation of early human migrations to the Tibetan Plateau before and after the last glacial maximum. American Journal Physical Anthropology 143 (4): 555-69. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21350.

Bramanti B, Thomas MG, Haak W, Unterlaender M, Jores P, Tambets K, Antanaitis-Jacobs I, Haidle MN, Jankauskas R, Kind C-J, Lueth F, Terberger T, Hiller J, Matsumura S, Forster P, Burger J (2009) Genetic discontinuity between local hunter-gatherers and central Europe's first farmers. Science 326 (5949): 137-140.

Meyer C, Brandt G, Haak W, Ganslmeier RA, Meller H, Alt KW (2009) The Eulau eulogy: Bioarchaeological interpretation of lethal violence in Corded Ware multiple burials from Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 28 (4): 412-423.

Haak W*, Brandt G*, De Jong HN, Meyer C, Ganslmeier R, Heyd V, Hawkesworth C, Pike AWG, Meller H, Alt KW (2008) Ancient DNA, strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the later stone age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (47): 18226-18231.

Donlon D, Casey M, Haak W, Adler C (2008) Early colonial burial practices for perinates at the Parramatta convict hospital, NSW. Australasian Historical Archaeology 26: 71-84.

Burger J, Kirchner M, Bramanti B, Haak W, Thomas MG (2007) Absence of the lactase-persistence-associated allele in early Neolithic Europeans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (10): 3736-3741.

Burger J, Gronenborn D, Forster P, Matsumura S, Bramanti B, Haak W (2006) Response to Comment on ‘‘Ancient DNA from the First European Farmers in 7500-Year-Old Neolithic Sites'' Science 312: 1875b.

Haak W, Forster P, Bramanti B, Matsumura S, Brandt G, Tänzer M, Villems R, Renfrew C, Gronenborn D, Alt KW, Burger J (2005) Ancient DNA from the First European farmers in 7500-year-old Neolithic sites. Science 310: 1016-1018.

Haak W, Gruber P, Rühli FJ, Böni T, Ulrich-Bochsler S, Frauendorf E, Burger J, Alt KW (2005) Molecular evidence of HLA-B27 in a historical case of ankylosing spondylitis. Arthritis & Rheumatism 52(10): 3318-3319.

Haak W, Burger J, Alt KW (2004) ABO genotyping by PCR-RFLP and cloning and sequencing. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 62 (4): 397-410.

Refereed conference papers

Haak W, Brandt G, Meyer C, De Jong HN, Ganslmeier R, Pike AWG, Meller H, Alt KW (2010) Die schnurkeramischen Familiengräber von Eulau - ein außergewöhnlicher Fund und seine interdisziplinäre Bewertung. Tagungen des Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle, Band 04, pp. 80-89.

Burger J, Haak W (2010) Mitochondrial Haplotypen aus humanen neolithischen Skeletten der LBK bzw. AVK. In: Gronenborn D, Petrasch (eds) The Spread of the Neolithic to Central Europe. RGZM-Tagungen, Band 4 1/2, pp. 141-146.


Entry last updated: Friday, 16 Jan 2015

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