Ms Alexandra Trinks
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Understanding colonisation and migration patterns in South-East Asia and the Indian Ocean using genetic signatures of domesticated and commensal animals.
Current archaeological, linguistic and paleoecological evidence supports a colonisation of Madagascar, the largest island in the Indian Ocean, about 2000 years ago by Austronesian people from Island South-East Asia. But still little is known about how and when humans started peopling the islands between South-East Asia and the East-African coast.
As the distribution and expansion of small commensal animals is generally associated with humans, especially in the case of islands, examining their migration patterns can provide insights into human colonisation, migration, seafaring and trade history.
Therefore this research project aims to explore settlement pathways across the Indian Ocean by using ancient and modern genetic signatures of commensal animals, like rats (Rattus rattus) and geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus), to trace the human-mediated animal dispersal. In combination with the archaeological record, analysis of the genetic variability of mitochondrial DNA sequences can be used to unravel time and direction of the human spreading through the Indian Ocean area.
Department of Archaeology
- Trinks A. , Burger P.A. Benecke N. & Burger J. (2012). Ancient DNA Reveals Domestication Process: The Case of the Two-humped Camel. In Camels in Asia and North Africa. Interdisciplinary perspectives on their significance in past and present. Knoll E.M. & Burger P.A. Austrian Academy of Science Press.