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Aurore Monnereau


Tracking Ancestry: Ancient genomic analysis of multi-faith populations from Medieval Sicily

Supervisors: Dr Nathan Wales and Dr Camilla Speller

Funding: European Research Council (ERC)

Research Project
The Middle Ages (6th to 13th century) in the Mediterranean area witnessed successive conquests, bringing with them new social rules, and ideological regimes, whether Christian or Islamic. During this period, Sicily knew five major changes from Byzantine to Aghlabid to Fatimid to Norman to Swabian.

The SICTRANSIT project examines the impact of these ideological transitions in Sicily, combining archaeological, molecular, anthropological, ceramic and isotopic studies.

My research aims to apply ancient DNA analysis to around 100 samples from human remains spanning the 6th to 13th century from different sites in Sicily, in order to examine evidence for genetic continuity / discontinuity or for large scale population shifts over this key period.


I completed a BSc in Health Biology specialising in Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Biology at the University of Bordeaux Segalen (France, 2010-2013).
I was awarded an MSc degree after studying Health Biology at the University of Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France; 2013-2014) followed by a year in Biological Anthropology at the University of Aix-Marseille (France, 2014- 2015).
I continued my education by doing a second MSc in Genetics, Genomes and Evolution at the University of Paris-Saclay (2015-2016).

My PhD is funded by an ERC funding (Horizon 2020- Project SICTRANSIT).

Publications and Awards

Razafindrazaka Harilanto, Monnereau Aurore, Razafindrazaka Dina, Tonasso Laure, Stephanie Schiavinato, Jean-Aimé Rakotoarisoa, Radimilahy Chantal, Letellier Thierry, Pierron Denis 2015 Genetic Admixture and Flavor Preferences: Androstenone Sensitivity in Malagasy Populations. Human Biology 87(1): 59–70.

Teaching & Impact

January 2019- June 2019: GTA (workshops for the module "Introduction to Archaeological Science")

Contact details

Aurore Monnereau
Department of Archaeology
University of York
BioArCh, Environment Building Wentworth Way Heslington
YO10 5NG