PhD defence by Astrid Schmidt – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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PhD defence by Astrid Schmidt

Ice Core Genetics - uncovering biodiversity from ancient ecosystems in Greenland and Antarctica 

Professor Eske Willerslev, Natural History Museum of Denmark
Associate professor, Jørgen Peder Steffensen, Centre for Ice and Climate

Assessment committtee:
Associate professor Hans Siegismund, Department of Biology
Professor Sergey Bulat, FSBI Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute
Professor Svante Björck, Lund University

Place: Geological Museum, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K

The aim of the thesis was to develop and expand the research field of ancient
DNA in basal ice of ice cores by use of new sequencing and analytical techniques. Large amounts of sequence data required a high demand for verification of the data in
terms of sorting, filtering, error handling as well as contamination control. The experimental and analytical work was used to reconstruct palaeo-ecosystems at two locations in Greenland and at one location in Antarctica.
Ecological and climatic details were assessed from the composition of biodiversity detected by means of aDNA amplification of mini-barcodes and deep sequencing on the GS-FLX sequencing platform.