Home / Dr. Chiara Barbieri


Dr. Chiara Barbieri is a geneticist with a background in anthropology. She is a senior postdoc at University of Zurich with a second affiliation at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. She received her PhD from the University of Bologna while working at the Max Planck for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Her studies cover various declinations of human genetics in reconstructing the human past, from anthropological fieldwork to laboratory analysis and computational data processing, with a strong multidisciplinary vocation. Working at the intersection of genetics and linguistics, she spent most of her research time on sub-Saharan African populations and pre-colonial South America. During her staying at the Center, she worked with Dr. Matthias Urban on genetic and linguistic correspondences in the prehistory of Peru.

2018Bajić V, Barbieri C, Hübner A, Güldemann T, Naumann C, Gerlach L, Berthold F, Nakagawa H, Mpoloka SW, Roewer L, Purps J, Stoneking M, Pakendorf B. 2018. Genetic structure and sex-biased gene flow in the history of southern African populations. Am J Phys Anthropol. 167(3), 656-671
Tucci S, Vohr SH, McCoy RC, Vernot B, Robinson MR, Barbieri C, Nelson BJ, Fu W, Purnomo GA, Sudoyo H, Eichler EE, Barbujani G, Visscher PM, Akey JM, Green RE. 2018. Evolutionary history and adaptation of a human pygmy population of Flores Island, Indonesia. Science (80- ) 361:511–516.
Arias L, Barbieri C, Barreto G, Stoneking M, Pakendorf B. High-resolution mitochondrial DNA analysis sheds light on human diversity, cultural interactions, and population mobility in Northwestern Amazonia. 2018. American Journal of Physical Anthropology; 165(2): 238-255
2017Barbieri C, Sandoval JR, Valqui J, Shimelman A, Ziemendorff S, Schröder R, Geppert M, Roewer L, Gray R, Stoneking M, Fujita R and Heggarty P. 2017. Enclaves of genetic diversity resisted Inca impacts on population history. Scientific Reports, 7: 17411
Bortolini, E., Pagani, L., Crema, E.R., Sarno, S., Barbieri C, Boattini, A., Sazzini, M., Da Silva, S.G., Martini, G., Metspalu, M. and Pettener, D., 2017. Inferring patterns of folktale diffusion using genomic data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, p.201614395.
Stefania Sarno, Alessio Boattini, Luca Pagani, Marco Sazzini, Sara De Fanti, Andrea Quagliariello, Guido Alberto Gnecchi Ruscone, Etienne Guichard, Graziella Ciani, Eugenio Bortolini, Barbieri C, Elisabetta Cilli, Rosalba Petrilli, Ilia Mikerezi, Luca Sineo, Miguel Vilar, Spencer Wells, Donata Luiselli, Davide Pettener. 2017. Ancient and recent admixture layers in Sicily and Southern Italy trace multiple migration routes along the Mediterranean. Scientific Reports, 7(1), p.1984.
2016Alessio Boattini, Stefania Sarno, Carla Bini, Valeria Pesci, Barbieri C, Sara De Fanti, Andrea Quagliariello, Luca Pagani, Qasim Ayub, Gianmarco Ferri, Davide Pettener, Donata Luiselli, Susi Pelotti. 2016. Mutation rates and discriminating power for 13 Rapidly-Mutating Y-STRs between related and unrelated individuals. Plos One. 11 (11) pp: e0165678
Malaspinas AS, Westaway MC, Muller C, Sousa VC, Lao O, Alves I, Bergström A, Athanasiadis G, Cheng JY, Crawford JE, Heupink TH, Macholdt E, Peischl S, Rasmussen S, Schiffels S, Subramanian S, Wright JL, Albrechtsen A, Barbieri C, et al. 2016. A genomic history of Aboriginal Australia. Nature. Sep 21.
Barbieri C, Alexander Hübner, Enrico Macholdt, Shengyu Ni, Sebastian Lippold, Roland Schröder, Sununguko W. Mpoloka, Josephine Purps, Lutz Roewer, Mark Stoneking, Brigitte Pakendorf. 2016. Refining the Y chromosome phylogeny with southern African sequences. Human Genetics, 135 (5), 541–553
2015Sara De Fanti*, Barbieri C*, Stefania Sarno, Federica Sevini, Dario Vianello, Erika Tamm, Ene Metspalu, Mannis van Oven, Marco Sazzini, Claudio Franceschi, Davide Pettener, Donata Luiselli (*first authors contributed equally). 2015. Fine dissection of human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup HV lineages reveals Paleolithic signatures from European glacial refugia. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0144391.
2014 Barbieri C, Paul Heggarty, Daniele Yang Yao, Gianmarco Ferri, Sara De Fanti, Stefania Sarno, Graziella Ciani, Alessio Boattini, Donata Luiselli, and Davide Pettener. 2014. Between Andes and Amazon: The genetic profile of the Arawak-speaking Yanesha. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 155: 600–609.
Barbieri C, Mário Vicente, Sandra Oliveira, Koen Bostoen, Jorge Rocha, Mark Stoneking, Brigitte Pakendorf. 2014. Migration and interaction in a contact zone: mtDNA variation among Bantu-speakers in southern Africa. PLoS One: 9(6):e99117.
Macholdt, Enrico, Vera Lede, Barbieri C, Sununguko W. Mpoloka, Hua Chen, Montgomery Slatkin, Brigitte Pakendorf, and Mark Stoneking. 2014. Tracing Pastoralist Migrations to Southern Africa with Lactase Persistence Alleles. Current Biology 24, no. 8: 875-879.
Giuliani, Cristina, Barbieri C, Mingkun Li, Laura Bucci, Daniela Monti, Giuseppe Passarino, Donata Luiselli, Claudio Franceschi, Mark Stoneking, and Paolo Garagnani. 2014. Transmission from centenarians to their offspring of mtDNA heteroplasmy revealed by ultra-deep sequencing. AGING 6, no. 5.
Barbieri C, Tom Güldemann, Christfried Naumann, Linda Gerlach, Falko Berthold, Hirosi Nakagawa, Sununguko W. Mpoloka, Mark Stoneking, and Brigitte Pakendorf. 2014. Unraveling the complex maternal history of Southern African Khoisan populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 153:435–448.
2013 Barbieri C, Vicente, Mário, Rocha, Jorge, Mpoloka, Sununguko W., Stoneking, Mark, Pakendorf, Brigitte. 2013. Ancient substructure in early mtDNA lineages of southern Africa. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 92.2: 285-292.
Barbieri C, Anne Butthof, Koen Bostoen, and Brigitte Pakendorf. 2013. Genetic perspectives on the origin of clicks in Bantu languages from southwestern Zambia. European Journal of Human Genetics: 21:430–436.
2012Pickrell, Joseph K., Patterson, Nick, Barbieri C, Berthold, Falko, Gerlach, Linda, Lipson, Mark, Loh, Po-Ru, Lachance, Joseph, Güldemann, Tom, Kure, Blesswell, Wata Mpoloka, Sununguko, Nakagawa, Hirosi, Naumann, Christfried, Mountain, Joanna, Bustamante, Carlos, Berger, Bonnie, Tishkoff, Sarah, Henn, Brenna, Stoneking, Mark, Reich, David & Brigitte Pakendorf. 2012. The genetic prehistory of southern Africa. Nature Communications 3:1143. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2140 (published 16 October 2012)
Barbieri C, Mark Whitten, Klaus Beyer, Henning Schreiber, Mingkun Li, and Brigitte Pakendorf. 2012. Contrasting maternal and paternal histories in the linguistic context of Burkina Faso. Molecular Biology and Evolution 29:1213–1236
2011de Filippo Cesare*, Barbieri C*, Mark Whitten, Sununguko W Mpoloka, Ellen Gunnarsdóttir, Koen Bostoen, Terry Nyambe, Klaus Beyer, Henning Schreiber, Peter de Knijff, Donata Luiselli, Mark Stoneking, Brigitte Pakendorf. 2011. (*first authors contributed equally). Y-chromosomal variation in Sub-Saharan Africa: insights into the history of Niger-Congo groups. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28(3): 1255-1269
Barbieri C, Paul Heggarty, Loredana Castrì, Donata Luiselli, Davide Pettener. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA variability in the Titicaca basin: Matches and mismatches with linguistics and ethnohistory. American Journal of Human Biology, 23: 89–99.
Invited Contributions
Barbieri C. In press. Genetic Exchanges in Transitional Environments of South America. In Heggarty, P and Pierce, A (eds) Rethinking the Andes-Amazonia ´Divide´: A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration.

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