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Alexander Moerseburg


I am a computational biologist who has primarily worked on high coverage genomic data. The main goal of my research has been to improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of the human species and to identify potentially adaptive genomic variants.

During my PhD thesis in the Kivisild group, I have been focussing on three areas in particular:

  1. Investigation of population structure and local adaptations in Southeast Asia using high coverage (700k) SNP data.
  2. Analysis of the global patterns of missense and loss of function variation in high coverage WGS data, mainly from previously understudied regions such as island Southeast Asia and Siberia. In this context, I have also studied purifying and positive selection. The most differentiated sites across continental groups have been integrated with annotations from functional databases to pinpoint disease and metabolism-related candidate loci.
  3. The use of rare variants from WGS data to uncover previously undetected admixture events on a historical as well as evolutionary timescale.

Since I did my BSc thesis on stable C/N isotope analyses, the field of human bioarchaeology has been a secondary area of interest. During this research, I was a key participant in several projects on Neolithic populations from Western and Central Europe. Recently, I have also become very interested in the use of big data and –omics approaches to address open questions in biomedical research and neuroscience in particular.



Pagani L, Lawson DJ, Jagoda E, Mörseburg A, Eriksson A et al. 2016. Genomic analyses inform on migration events during the peopling of Eurasia. Nature 538:238–242.


Mörseburg A, Pagani L, Ricaut F-X, Yngvadottir B, Harney E et al. 2016. Multi-layered population structure in Island Southeast Asians. Eur J Hum Genet 24:1605–1611.


Mörseburg A, Alt KW, Knipper C. 2015. Same old in Middle Neolithic diets? A stable
isotope study of bone collagen from the burial community of Jechtingen, southwest Germany. J Anthropol Archaeol 39:210–221.


Alt KW, Meyer C, Nicklisch N, Becker T, Mörseburg A, Knipper C. 2013. Jechtingen Anthropologie eines mittelneolithischen Gräberfeldes. Fundberichte aus Baden-Württemberg 34:177–298.


Mörseburg A , Stefen C. 2007. Die Pleistozänen Elefantenartigen im Museum für Mineralogie und Geologie Dresden. Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Institutes für Geologie der TU Bergakademie Freiberg 36:99-100




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