African Island Diversity

Paul Verdu, CR1 CNRS Researcher, CNRS-MNHN-Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France

From macro to micro genetic and linguistic evolution on the African shores of the transatlantic slave trade

Paul Verdu (CR1 CNRS Researcher) works in the Anthropological Genetics Team at the UMR7206 Eco-Anthropology lab at the MNHN-Musée de l’Homme in Paris. He combines population genetics with cultural anthropology approaches in an interdisciplinary framework, going from novel theoretical and methodological developments to statistical analyses and inferences of the cultural and biological data generated anew from the field. He has pioneered the field of anthropological genetics of Central African hunter-gatherer and neighboring populations and developed novel methods for reconstructing complex admixture histories from genetic and linguistic data. His primary fields of research are the Western Congo Basin and Cape Verde, focusing mainly on the demographic history of populations and the influence of sociocultural behaviors on human genetic and linguistic diversity patterns. Website.

Chantal Radimilahy, Director, Institut des Civilisations, Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, Université d’Antananarivo, Madagascar

Human settlement in Madagascar: combination of genetic and anthropological approaches

Chantal Radimilahy is the former Director of the University of Antananarivo Museum (2006-2015), and has been appointed Expert in Archaeology by Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Madagascar. She teaches archaeology and conducts archaeological research in many parts of the island. She presented a doctoral thesis on ancient iron metallurgy in Madagascar at the University of Paris Sorbonne (1985), and a PhD in Archaeology at Uppsala University, Sweden (1998), for research on an ancient Swahili town in north-western Madagascar. She is chairing the African Archaeology Network (AAN) since 2005, and is National Coordinator for different archaeological research programmes in Madagascar. She is currently involved in the MAGE programme, the “Sacred Rice” programme with University of Columbia (USA) and the “Metals, Stones and Pots by the Rasikajy: Technological transfer and exchange network in North-Eastern Madagascar” programme with University of Fribourg (Switzerland). She is involved as well in programmes for community involvement in the management of cultural heritage. She is member of the Académie Malgache, the ICOM and other international NGOs (ICOMOS, Blue Shield…) dealing with cultural heritage. Website.

Denis Pierron, CR1 CNRS Researcher, CNRS AMIS, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France

Genomic landscape of human diversity across Madagascar

Denis Pierron (CR1 CNRS Researcher) is a molecular anthropologist member of the Evolutionary Medicine team in Toulouse. He is the Principal Investigator of GENOMIX project which focus on the functional consequences of admixture and gene flows. He specially focus on How polymorphisms interact with each other and the environment to lead to adaptive or pathologic phenotype? and the influence of genetics on people’s preferences in terms of aroma and quantify the impact of genetic diversity on the evolution and transmissions of food culture. Website.