Sigríður Sunna

Sigríður Sunna Ebenesersdóttir has a PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Iceland. She works as a researcher at deCODE Genetics, focusing on analyses of genetic data from ancient and modern populations to explore the history of human populations. Sunna is particularly intrigued by the potential of ancient DNA studies in broadening our understanding of human evolution, migration and demographic shifts across millennia.

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Plenary talk title: The genetic history of human populations in the North Atlantic: inferred from ancient and modern genomes. 

Abstract: Recent advances in sequencing technology have provided an opportunity to retrieve information about genotypes at millions of loci in the genomes of ancient individuals. This breakthrough has significantly broadened the scope of inferences we can draw about the history of human populations. My talk will summarize studies involving ancient genomes from Iceland and Scandinavia along with the findings stemming from over two decades of research conducted at deCODE Genetics on the genetic history of the Icelandic population. Iceland was settled 1100 years ago, at the height of the Viking age. This was part of a large-scale Norse expansion that had a long-lasting cultural and genetic effect on the populations in the North Atlantic region. In my talk, I will explore the impact of genetic drift on human populations in the North Atlantic region and reveal how migration and admixture have shaped their gene pools.