"FINDER" : ERC grant awarded to Katerina Douka
The PalaeoChron team is delighted to announce the award of an ERC Starting Grant to Dr Katerina Douka, one of the PalaeoChron post-doctoral researchers.
The grant has the acronym "FINDER", which stands for "Fossil Fingerprinting and Identification of New Denisovan Remains from Pleistocene Asia".
The research aims to address the dearth of Denisovan fossils by applying a novel combination of cutting-edge scientific methods (collagen fingerprinting, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA) designed to identify, date and genetically characterize new human fossils, with a particular emphasis on the discovery of Denisovan remains. Katerina and her team will focus on unidentified bone fragments from ~20 Asian sites dating to between 100,000-10,000 years in an effort to extend the distribution of Denisovan remains outside the current area of the Altai and attempt to understand what the geographic, genetic and temporal relationship was between Denisovans, modern humans and Neanderthals. Prof. Svante Pääbo and the Leipzig MPI team will collaborate with Katerina on the project, which will also employ 2 PhD students and a post-doctoral researcher. The project will start in June 2017.
We also congratulate our RLAHA friend and colleague Mike Dee, who was also awarded an ERC Starting Grant this round!