My research focuses on the study of human population prehistory through our genetic variability, and on the relationships between genetic fingerprints and demographic events such as human migration, diffusion and contact. I am particularly interested in exploring parallels between genetic and other anthropological disciplines, especially linguistics. I studied the genetic prehistory of various regions of the world: sub-Saharan Africa, southern Europe, Australia and South America. I carried fieldwork expeditions in Botswana, Peru, Chile and Italy. I am specialized in the study of Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA variation, and in the field of genetic genealogy. I am interested in how genetic studies influence our perception of group and single identity, and in the implications for our society.
I am currently leading the research group “Human genetic diversity across languages and cultures” at the University of Zurich in the department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, with the support of the Department of Comparative Language Science. I am collaborating with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) in the department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution.