Suvi Olli

In my doctoral research, I will dig into the forgotten history of Nordic poultry using multidisciplinary analyses of archeological bones. I will study ancient DNA (aDNA) from archeological bones of chickens, domestic geese, and domestic ducks to study changes in poultry’s genetic material, their evolutionary trajectory, and their dispersal patterns by comparing Finnish samples with those from surrounding regions. I will also study poultry’s diet using stable isotope analyses that reveal what the diet of these species has consisted of. In addition, I will study using ancient DNA and ancient RNA what pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, the ancient Nordic poultry has encountered.

Before my PhD research, I have studied whether environmental DNA (eDNA) methods are suitable for moor frog detection. I have also participated in eDNA studies of geese. I am interested in the possibilities of aDNA and eDNA to provide information about people, animals, and their interactions, which otherwise could not be determined, even though the DNA in these samples is in low concentrations and very degraded.

Research interests

  • ancient DNA
  • evolutionary history of domestic animals
  • environmental DNA

Researcher information

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Contact information


Postal address

Ecology and Genetics Research unit
90014 University of Oulu