Paleogenetics Lab

The palaeogenetics lab is a part of the larger molecular genetic facility specialized to analyse ancient sedimentary DNA and is placed in a separate building apart from the modern and recent environmental lab and Post-PCR areas. In the palaeogenetics lab we analyse ancient DNA from sediment cores (lakes or marine archives) or permafrost deposits.

We apply DNA metabarcoding and metagenomics (shotgun and hybridisation capture) to investigate spatial and temporal biodiversity with the aim of identifying the taxonomic and functional composition of assemblages on population, community or ecosystem-level and their changes in Arctic (terrestrial and marine) ecosystems.

We use the following molecular genetic approaches.

  • DNA isolation of sediment cores and organismic material
  • PCR & quantitative PCR
  • Metabarcoding
  • Metagenomic (DNA library prep and shotgun)
  • DNA hybridization capture
  • Preparation for amplicon and shotgun Next-Generation Sequencing
  • Cloning and preparation for Sanger sequencing
  • Microsatellites – SNP analyses

Specialisms of the palaeogenetics lab

  • Separation from the general genetic lab to prevent contamination risks
  • High degree of purity (UV ceiling lights, separation into pre-PCR and main rooms)
  • Isolation of ancient DNA from ancient samples (e.g. lake sediment, permafrost)
  • DNA library preparation of ancient DNA for shot-gun sequencing

Lab equipment includes

  • UV workstations
  • DNA sample preparation with Fast-Prep®-24 Instrument
  • End-point PCR cycler & Real Time PCR QuantIT3
  • Covaris M220 Focused-ultrasonicator™
  • DNA concentration Qubit 4 Fluorometer
  • DNA fragment analyzer 4200 TapeStation

Dr. Kathleen Stoof-Leichsenring

Technical staff
Janine Klimke
Sarah Olischläger


The laboratories are among others equipped for the following approaches: