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Department of Archaeology



I am a PhD student in Biological Anthropology. My undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz was in physical anthropology and concentrated primarily in human skeletal biology, paleopathology, paleoanthropology and historical archaeology. I additionally minored in European History.

I then completed an MSc in Archaeological Sciences at the University of Tuebingen, focusing on hair as a source of ancient and historical human DNA particularly in relation to applications in historical biography. I simultaneously worked as a contract archaeologist excavating the medieval plague mass grave site in Ellwangen, Germany, and held research assistant positions in Tuebingen both within the Osteology Collections, and with the Paleogenetics group.

Before beginning my PhD in Cambridge in Michaelmas of 2017, I was a research assistant with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s Department of Archaeogenetics, with whom I remain an affiliated researcher.


My PhD focuses on the interface between modern genomics and historical biography, which we have titled ‘genobiography’. My research focuses in detail on a particular case study.

Off-shoots of this research include continual assessments of new ancient DNA techniques in relation to the efficient sequencing of DNA from hair, assessing DNA damage patterns as a potential dating tool for samples originating in recent centuries, and the possibility of performing imputation and polygenic risk assessment for shallow, degraded sequence data from ancient or historical individuals.

However my interests are broad and encompass everything from polygenic risk assessment within psychiatric genomics to human evolutionary genetics.


Key publications: 

Peltzer, A., Mittnik, A., Wang, C. C., Begg, T., Posth, C., Nieselt, K., & Krause, J. (2018). Inferring Genetic Origins and Phenotypic Traits of George Bähr, the Architect of the Dresden Frauenkirche. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2115

Editor: Harvati, K., & Roksandic, M. (2016). The Human Fossil Record from Romania: Early Upper Paleolithic European Mandibles and Neanderthal Admixture. In Paleoanthropology of the Balkans and Anatolia (pp. 51-68). Springer, Dordrecht.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Supervisor(s) Dr Robert Attenborough, Dr Toomas Kivisild

Job Titles

PhD Student in Biological Anthropology

General Info

Not available for consultancy

Contact Details

tjab3 [at]


Person keywords: 
Ancient DNA
Biological Anthropology
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: