creating a
healthier future

The 20th Portugaliæ Genetica: DNA - Ancient and New

21-22 March 2024 | Hybrid Event


Abstract Book >>


Time flies, indeed - next year, 2024, we will hold the 20th edition of Portugaliæ Genetica: DNA – Ancient and New; a hundred years after the publication of the seminal paper of Felix Bernstein1 on the formal model of inheritance of ABO blood groups, in which he introduced the simultaneous analysis of two loci at the population level. 
Population Genetics has since evolved greatly and Portugaliæ Genetica as well: from a scientific meeting with a humble start (1998) it has gathered over this quarter of a century many distinguished contributors and a wide audience.

Endorsed by the Spanish and Portuguese Speaking Group of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (GHEP-ISFG), the organizing committee is pleased to announce the upcoming 20th edition of PORTUGALIÆ GENETICA which will be held at the Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S) on March 21-22, 2024.
This year is devoted to the broad theme "DNA – Ancient and New" and we will try to cope with the most recent developments of the field and Ancient DNA is therefore inescapable as one of the addressed topics in this edition. Also, Genetics and Genomics; Mutations and Evolution; Ancestry Paradoxes; Population Genetics - uses & abuses, will be covered.

All topical sections will include lecture(s) and/or discussions/round tables.
Selected oral communications and poster session, specially devoted to young researchers, is also planned.


1. Crow J. F. (1993). Felix Bernstein and the first human marker locus. Genetics, 133(1), 4–7.


i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde
Rua Alfredo Allen, 208; 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 226 074 900 | E-mail:
GPS coordinates: 41º 10’ 30.008’’ N, 8º 36’ 12.488’’ W.


António Amorim
Catarina Xavier
João Lavinha
João Teixeira
Lounès Chikhi

Iva Gomes
Maria João Prata
Nádia Pinto
Sandra Martins
Verónica Gomes


Lisbon time – WEST time

Day 1 | 21 March

9h00 Welcome
António Amorim, IPATIMUP and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal


SESSION 1 | Ancient DNA and Archaeogenomics 
Chair 1: João Teixeira, The Australian National University, Australia and University of Coimbra, Portugal

9h15 Keynote lecture | New genomes provide insights into hominin gene flow in the Pleistocene
Janet Kelso
, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

10h30 Assessing the limits of local ancestry inference from small reference panels through simulations
Sandra Oliveira
, Institute for Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Switzerland

10h45 Tracing the Ancient and Contemporary Genomic Population Dynamics of Arabian Peninsula
Verónica Fernandes
, IPATIMUP and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

11h00 Coffee Break 

11h30 Keynote lecture | Hybridization as a source of genetic variation: clues from Iron Age cattle from Althiburos, Tunisia
Catarina Ginja
, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon and BIOPOLIS-CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, Portugal

12h45 The genomic history of Portugal over the past 5000 years
Xavier Roca-Rada
, Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide, Australia and Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra, Portugal

13h00 A cooperative method to reconstruct persistent human viral sequences
Maria J. P. Sousa
, IEETA/LASI and DETI, University of Aveiro, Portugal

13h15 Assessing pre-exploitation baseline numbers and population dynamics of the European sardine Sardina pilchardus Walbaum, 1792 using palaeogenomics
Paula F. Campos
, CIIMAR, University of Porto, Portugal

13h30 Lunch break


SESSION 2 | Mutations & Evolution
Chair 2:  António Amorim, IPATIMUP and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

14h30 Keynote speaker | Principles of Evolutionary Overdesign and Underperformance
Michael Lynch
, Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution, Arizona State University, USA

15h45 The Two-Mutations Model and the evolution of Silene latifolia sex chromosomes
Catarina Branco
, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université de Lyon, France, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO-InBIO and FCUP, University of Porto, Portugal

16h00 A Machine Learning Approach for Modeling Y-Chromosomal Microsatellites’ Mutation
Nádia Pinto
, IPATIMUP and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

16h15 Coffee Break

16h45 Deciphering human variation through polymorphic pseudogenes
Mónica Lopes-Marques
, CIIMAR, University of Porto, Portugal

17h00 The plant pioneer factor Lfy uses conserved trans-kingdom chromatin remodeling mechanisms in vertebrates
Joana Teixeira
, i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

17h15 The evolution of two transmissible leukaemias colonizing the coasts of Europe
Alicia L. Bruzos
, Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, University of Caen-Normandie, France and Centre for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

17h30 Evolutionary studies of ATXN3 paralogs in primates support the functional relevance of ATXN3L retrocopy
Daniela Felício
, IPATIMUP, ICBAS and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

17h45 Closing session

19:30 Event Dinner at Restaurante Casa Agrícola*
 *requires participants’ registration.



Day 2 | 22 March


SESSION 3 | Genetics vs. Genomics
Chair 2: Lounès Chikhi, IGC - Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal

9h00 Keynote speaker | From population genetics to population genomics: what has really changed?
Laurent Excoffier
, Computational and Molecular Population Genetics Laboratory, University of Bern, Switzerland

10h15 Investigating the contribution of transposable elements intraspecific polymorphism to grapevine resistance to high temperatures
Raquel Linheiro
, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université de Lyon, France, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO-InBIO and FCUP, University of Porto, Portugal

10h30 Decoding Tissue Aging: Unveiling Inflammatory Signatures and a Novel Biomarker Across Multiple Tissues
José Pedro Castro
, i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

10h45 Genetics vs Genomics: Insights Through Mathematical Modelling of X Chromosome Aneuploidies
Marisa Faustino
, FCUP and i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

11h00 Coffee break


SESSION 4 | Ancestry Paradoxes
Chair 4: Catarina Xavier | i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

11h30 Keynote speaker | The structures of ancestry
Aylwyn Scally
, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

12h45 Inferring ancestry with novel haplotype markers
Diana Hall
, Forensic Genetics Unit, University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland

13h00 The Unexpected Contradictory Effects of Co-ancestry Coefficient on the Weight of Genetic Evidence
Camila Costa
, i3S, University of Porto, Portugal

13h15 Lunch break


SESSION 5 | Population Genetics - uses & abuses
Chair 5: João Lavinha, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Portugal

14h15 Keynote speaker | Human Population Genetics as Folk Heredity
Jonathan Marks, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA

15h15 Keynote speaker | Vulnerable participants and social and ethical considerations in population genetics
Helena Machado
, ICS-Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal

16h15 Short Coffee Break

16h30 Round Table 

18h00 Closing Session


Aylwyn Scally

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Aylwyn Scally is a Senior Lecturer in evolutionary genetics at the University of Cambridge. Originally trained in theoretical physics, he uses computational and mathematical methods with large-scale genomic data to investigate human and primate evolution. His work has included the assembly of the gorilla genome, the 1000 Genomes Project, and evolutionary genomic studies of the great apes. More recently, his research has focused on the ancestry of modern and ancient humans, and understanding the genetics of human germline mutation.



Catarina Ginja

CIISA, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon and BIOPOLIS-CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, Portugal

Catarina Ginja is a Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon. She conducted her PhD research at the University of California-Davis (2004-2009). C Ginja was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship (2010) and launched an innovative Archaeogenetics research in Portugal. She is interested in understanding the temporal and geographical dynamics that shaped the genomic composition of domestic animal species. C Ginja uses Genomics and Bioinformatics methods to disclose information on the origins, evolutionary trajectories, and modes of improvement of livestock. She is the coordinator of the REZGEN-IBA network funded by CYTED and member of the International Council for Archaeozoology. She served as chair of the FAO/ISAG Committee on Animal Genetic Diversity and continues collaborating with Breeder Associations to define conservation and management measures.


Helena Machado

ICS-Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal

Helena Machado is Full Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Minho (Braga, Portugal). Founding member and coordinator of the AIDA (Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Algorithms) Social Sciences Network. Currently, she is Chair of the Scientific Council for the Arts, and Humanities and Social Sciences of the Foundation for Science and Technology in Portugal (Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education).

Helena was the Principal Investigator of the Exchange Project (Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council – 2015/2021). Her work in this project delved into the intricate realm of genetic and genomic technologies, with a keen focus on their applications in forensics, particularly in the context of state surveillance and criminal identification.

Helena's work encompasses two other pivotal areas: Firstly, she investigates the performativity of ethics within the realms of scientific and law enforcement agencies, as they grapple with contentious issues surrounding privacy, human rights, and democracy in the governance of crime. Secondly, her research delves into the dynamics of public engagement with genetics, probing the concerns of individuals regarding the rightful and potentially dubious applications of their samples and personal data.

The list of her major publications can be consulted at:


Janet Kelso

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Janet Kelso leads the Bioinformatics research group at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Her research focusses on the analysis of ancient genomes, particularly the genomes of archaic humans. Her research group has a particular interest in the development of novel computational approaches for the analysis of ancient DNA, and in using these approaches to gain insights into genome evolution. Janet received her PhD in bioinformatics from the South African National Bioinformatics Institute at the University of the Western Cape under the supervision of Professor Winston Hide. She is the co-Editor-in-chief of the journal Bioinformatics together with Alfonso Valencia as well as an Executive Editor of the journal Database. For many years Janet has been an active member of the Board of the International Society of Computational Biology, and she was named a Fellow of the Society in 2015.


Jonathan Marks

University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA

Jonathan Marks is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His primary training is in biological anthropology and genetics, but his interests are broad, and he has published widely across the sciences and humanities on the general topics of human origins and human diversity. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In recent years he has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the ESRC Genomics Forum in Edinburgh, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and a Templeton Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Notre Dame. His forthcoming book, Understanding Human Diversity, will be published later this year by Cambridge University Press. And although he has previously written books called What it Means to be 98% Chimpanzee and Why I am Not a Scientist, actually he is about 98% scientist, and not a chimpanzee.


Laurent Excoffier

University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Laurent Excoffier is a professor in Population Genetics, head of the Computational and Molecular Population Genetics (CMPG) laboratory  at the University of Bern, and a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. He has developed widely used methodologies for the analysis of population genetic structure, the reconstruction of long multi-locus haplotypes, or the estimation of demographic parameters from molecular genetic data. He has developed the popular computer program Arlequin for the analysis of molecular diversity within species. Recent work has focused on the development of statistical methods for the estimation of parameters in complex evolutionary models with applications to the evolution of modern humans and the detection of genes under selection. He is deeply interested by the effects of spatial range expansions on neutral and functional genetic diversity of populations, describing the phenomena of gene surfing and expansion load. He has been awarded the Molecular Ecology prize in 2013 for his decisive contributions in the field of statistical genetics, human genetics, and the modelling of the genetic consequences of range expansion. He is now doing research on the demographic history of European populations using ancient DNA.


Michael Lynch

Arizona State University, Arizona, USA

Michael Lynch is currently a Regents Professor and the Director of the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution, Arizona State University, where he also heads an NSF-funded center grant focused on the cellular mechanisms of evolution. His research has long focused on the genetic mechanisms of evolution, particularly at the genomic and cellular levels. Current research foci include: the evolution of replication, transcription, and translation error rates; the consequences of genome duplication; the 5000 Daphnia genomes project; global patterns of genomic and cellular diversity in ciliates and volvocales; and the mechanisms driving biology’s scaling relationships. All of this empirical work integrates with theory development. Lynch received an undergraduate degree in biology from St. Bonaventure University, and a Ph. D. in Ecology and Behavioral Biology from the University of Minnesota. He has held prior faculty positions at the University of Illinois, University of Oregon, and Indiana University. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also past president of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Genetics Society of America, the Society for the Study of Evolution, and the American Genetics Association. Recent awards include the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal from the Genetics Society of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. He is the author of four books: Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits (with Bruce Walsh, 1998), The Origins of Genome Complexity (2007), and Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits (with Bruce Walsh, 2018), and Evolutionary Cell Biology (2023). Approximately 35 graduate students and 50 postdoctoral fellows have worked in his lab.

Abstract Submission

The call for abstracts will be open until the 22nd of January (notification of acceptance until the 29th of January).
The meeting will include poster sessions and the selection of abstracts for short oral communications as part of the program, during which contributors will have the opportunity to introduce and attract attention to their research. During the submission of abstracts, candidates can select their field of study / session and preference for oral or poster presentation format.

Abstracts Guidelines:
- Title is limited to 150 characters (including spaces).
- Abstracts are limited to 1500 characters (including spaces; authors and affiliations excluded).
- Define all non-standard abbreviations at first use.
- Images cannot be included in the abstract.
- Abstracts should be submitted through the web interface.

The participants should use the layout provided here:

Abstract Template | Download  >>

Abstract Submission Form >> 


The meeting will be held at i3S and online. Information regarding the online streaming will be sent prior to the meeting. Please note that the meeting will be held live (Lisbon time – WEST time) and recordings will not be available. A certificate of attendance will be issued after the meeting for participants that attend the event. The certificate will not be issued in case of a no-show.

Registration deadline: February 9th | Payment deadline: February 20th


  • i3S and P.CCC Raquel Seruca members, GHEP-ISFG members & Students: 80 €

  • Other: 120€


Dinner (location to be confirmed): 50€ 


Registration form >>









More information:
Events Management Unit | Rua Alfredo Allen 208 | 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Email: | Tel: +351 226 074 900