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Evolutionary Anthropology Colloquium: Dr. Sarah K. Brown (UCD) "Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of the Domestic Dog: From Village Dog to Ancient DNA

Apr 22, 2013
from 04:10 PM to 05:00 PM

2203 SS&H (Andrews Conference Room)

Dr. Sarah K. Brown

Postdoctoral Researcher, Departments of Anthropology and Veterinary Genetics, UC Davis

Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of the Domestic Dog: From Village Dogs to Ancient DNA

In the 15,000 years since the dog (Canis lupus familaris) was domesticated, it has become the most morphologically diverse and widely spread domestic animal. Much about the early history of the dog remains undetermined; in particular, where the dog was domesticated and its subsequent geographic dispersal. This research utilizes rapidly mutating DNA markers, combined with indigenous village dogs to help elucidate where our human companion originated. Our data supports a proximate origin in East Asia with European dogs separating from East Asian stock 5,000 – 8,500 years ago. Additionally, we investigate one of the last human and dog co-migration, into the North American Arctic ~ 4,000 – 1,000 years ago. Utilizing ancient DNA from archaeological bone and modern sled dogs, we help elucidate origins of these dogs and show modern Inuit sled dogs to have retained their ancient genetic signature.