Faculty Advisor

Amelia Ahern-Rindell




For the last several years, the University of Portland has brought an interdisciplinary research team to the ancient Roman city of Pollentia on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Its aim included identifying the relationship between three ancient populations found in distinct necropolises. The use of ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis, specifically Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) analysis, has opened avenues into characterizing ancient populations by examination of their physical remains. While awaiting exportation approval for bones selected in summer 2016 from individuals buried in Pollentia, analysis was performed on blind samples of modern DNA from volunteers’ expectorate to validate and optimize planned protocols. Preliminary results indicate differentiation between male and female modern DNA and identification of Y-STR variation. Going forward, this suggests a high likelihood of determining ancestry of the individuals from the old Roman city using their aDNA. This also suggests the potential to gain valuable insight into the populations’ origins and relationships to each other.


Human Genetics--Research; Y Chromosome--Research

Publication Information

A Summer Research Celebration Project

© 2017 The Author

Document Type

Student Project

Included in

Biology Commons