The central research focus in our department is to understand the biological variation and evolution of humans, their ancestors, and closest relatives. We are using state-of-the-art technologies such as ancient DNA analysis, micro-computed tomography, geometric morphometrics, big data analysis and others. Our main research areas are:

  • Functional Morphology
  • Genetics & Isotopes
  • Behavioral Biology
  • Life History & Demography
  • Human Ecology


Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Althanstraße 14 (UZA I)
1090 Vienna

Gerhard Weber


Research Areas: Human Evolution & Primate Morphology

Martin Fieder

Research Areas:

Sylvia Kirchengast

Research Areas:

Ron Pinhasi

Research Areas:

Katrin Schäfer

Research Areas: Human Behavioral Biology and Evolutionary Aesthetics

Harald Wilfing

Research Area: Human Ecology

Elmira Mohandesan


Paleogenomics: Ancient DNA (aDNA) is a new field of science that began in the early 1980s, based on extraction and analysis of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from quagga, an extinct subspecies of the plains zebra. Ancient DNA can be recovered and analyzed from museum specimens, fossil remains, archaeological and paleontological finds. Over the past decades, aDNA research has entered the new era of genomics - "Paleogenomics" - due to recent advances in laboratory methods, next-generation DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatic tools. At present, whole genomes from ancient anatomically modern humans, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and various non-human animals have been successfully sequenced. Today' application of ancient DNA as a powerful research tool is covering a broad range of evolutionary questions in the context of dynamic processes of migration, adaptation, admixture, domestication, and potential causes of extinctions in past species.