Mikkel Winther Pedersen

Mikkel Winther Pedersen is a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen – his main interest lies in the interaction between past humans – environments – climatic changes and their effect on species distribution, population declines and community compositions. He focusses on reconstructing past environments using shotgun sequenced ancient DNA to detect species and environmental reconstruction and works in the cross field of geology, archaeology, biology and geography in which the method is applicable for answering questions such about human – environment interaction.

Mikkel is head of the Paleo-Environmental Genomics Group (PEGG) who are among the front runners of developing and improving extraction of ancient environmental DNA and metagenomic bioinformatic analysis. While reconstruction of past environments has a long research history of using fossils, both microscopic and visible (macroscopic) fossils, to study past organismal assemblages, in PEGG we use ancient DNA molecules to study past organismal assemblages in relation to ecological and evolutionary changes. This DNA is primarily extracted from geological deposits, such as lake sediment cores, paleo-soils, permafrost soil and sediments from archaeological contexts from all over the world. The group is currently working on projects – in Colombia, Mexico, North America, Europe, Tanzania, Congo, UK, Scotland, Denmark and China.

Paleo-Environmental Genomics Group (PEGG) (www.paleogenomics.eu – under construction).