Marcel Keller

Marcel Keller
Universität Bern | UniBe · Institute of Forensic Medicine

Dr. rer. nat.

About

44
Publications
12,129
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
384
Citations
Introduction
Marcel Keller is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Estonia.
Education
December 2014 - December 2017
October 2011 - September 2013
October 2008 - September 2011

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
The study of human pathogens, their genomes and their evolution has been revolutionized by the introduction of ancient DNA techniques both in the lab and in silico. Today, palaeogenomic research can reconstruct microbial genomes starting from as much as a couple of reads detected during screenings. With every year, the number of organisms and genom...
Conference Paper
The traditional notions of "nomadic" cultures as homogenously mobile and economically simple is increasingly displaced by more nuanced interpretations. A large part of the scientific literature on diet and mobility among Eurasian pastoralists is focused on Bronze Age and Iron Age. The relative underrepresentation of more recent contexts in these an...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Contemporary archeological theory emphasizes the economic and social complexity of Eurasian steppe populations. As a result, old notions of “nomadic” cultures as homogenously mobile and economically simple are now displaced by more nuanced interpretations. Large part of the literature on diet and mobility among Eurasian pastoralists is...
Article
Full-text available
Background The human pathogen Haemophilus influenzae was the main cause of bacterial meningitis in children and a major cause of worldwide infant mortality before the introduction of a vaccine in the 1980s. Although the occurrence of serotype b (Hib), the most virulent type of H. influenzae , has since decreased, reports of infections with other se...
Article
Full-text available
Domestication of horses fundamentally transformed long-range mobility and warfare¹. However, modern domesticated breeds do not descend from the earliest domestic horse lineage associated with archaeological evidence of bridling, milking and corralling2–4 at Botai, Central Asia around 3500 bc³. Other longstanding candidate regions for horse domestic...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been infecting humans for millennia and remains a global health problem, but its past diversity and dispersal routes are largely unknown. We generated HBV genomic data from 137 Eurasians and Native Americans dated between ~10,500 and ~400 years ago. We date the most recent common ancestor of all HBV lineages to between ~...
Article
Of all known epidemics in Antiquity, the Justinianic Plague became the focus of attention in recent years – not least because it is the first for which the causative agent, the bacterium Yersinia pestis, could be unambiguously identified by palaeogeneticists. The reconstruction of ancient Y. pestis genomes is able to uncover the geographical and te...
Article
Full-text available
Background Hansen’s disease (leprosy), widespread in medieval Europe, is today mainly prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions with around 200,000 new cases reported annually. Despite its long history and appearance in historical records, its origins and past dissemination patterns are still widely unknown. Applying ancient DNA approaches to i...
Article
Full-text available
DNA hybridization‐capture techniques allow researchers to focus their sequencing efforts on pre‐selected genomic regions. This feature is especially useful when analyzing ancient DNA (aDNA) extracts, which are often dominated by exogenous environmental sources. Here, we assessed, for the first time, the performance of hyRAD as an inexpensive and de...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle and Late Bronze Age, a period roughly spanning the 2nd millennium BC (ca. 2000-1200 BC) in the Near East, is frequently referred to as the first 'international age', characterized by intense and far-reaching contacts between different entities from the eastern Mediterranean to the Near East and beyond. In a large-scale tandem study of st...
Article
Full-text available
Ancient DNA from Yersinia pestis has been identified in skeletons at four urban burial grounds in Cambridge, England, and at a nearby rural cemetery. Dating to between ad 1349 and 1561, these represent individuals who died of plague during the second pandemic. Most come from normative individual burials, rather than mass graves. This pattern repres...
Conference Paper
Warfare is assumed to be one of the defining cultural characteristic of steppe nomads in Eastern Eurasia, with high levels of violence used by Classical and Chinese historiographers as markers of cultural "otherness" when describing these societies. Especially for the first centuries AD, these interpretive hampers more nuanced reconstructions of th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Middle and Late Bronze Age Near East, a period roughly spanning the second millennium BC (ca. 2000-1200 BC), is frequently referred to as the first ‘international age’, characterized by intense and far-reaching contacts between different entities from the eastern Mediterranean to the Near East and beyond. In a large-scale tandem study of stable...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Warfare is assumed to be one of the defining cultural characteristics of steppe nomads in Eastern Eurasia. For the first‐centuries CE, a period of political turmoil in Northern China and Southern Siberia, relatively few data are, however, available about the degree and variability of violence in these communities. Here, we provide new da...
Preprint
Full-text available
Along with the publication of 137 ancient human genomes retrieved from archaeological remains of the Eurasian steppe, Damgaard et al., 2018 identified two individuals infected with Yersinia pestis, yielding one genome with 0.24x average coverage (DA147, 2nd-3rd c. AD) and another with 8.7x (DA101, 6th-9th c. AD). A phylogenetic analysis performed o...
Article
Full-text available
The second plague pandemic, caused by Yersinia pestis, devastated Europe and the nearby regions between the 14th and 18th centuries AD. Here we analyse human remains from ten European archaeological sites spanning this period and reconstruct 34 ancient Y. pestis genomes. Our data support an initial entry of the bacterium through eastern Europe, the...
Article
Full-text available
The first historically documented pandemic caused by Yersinia pestis began as the Justinianic Plague in 541 within the Roman Empire and continued as the so-called First Pandemic until 750. Although paleo-genomic studies have previously identified the causative agent as Y. pestis, little is known about the bacterium's spread, diversity, and genetic...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first historically documented pandemic caused by Yersinia pestis started as the Justinianic Plague in 541 within the Roman Empire and continued as the so-called First Pandemic until 750. Although palaeogenomic studies have previously identified the causative agent as Y. pestis , little is known about the bacterium’s spread, diversity and geneti...
Preprint
Full-text available
The second plague pandemic (14th - 18th century AD), caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis , is infamous for its initial wave, the Black Death (1346-1353 AD), and its repeated scourges in Europe and the vicinity until the Early Modern Era. Here, we report 32 ancient Y. pestis genomes spanning the 14th to 17th century AD through the analysis of hu...
Conference Paper
The study of multiple burials within communal medieval and early modern cemeteries has long been neglected. Especially the use of this burial type as a way to deal with simultaneous deaths during epidemics or war has become an important topic of research. An excavation in Stans in central Switzerland recently revealed parts of a cemetery associated...
Article
Full-text available
Bayesian phylogenetic analysis allows for the estimation of the time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of sequences sampled at different times, as long as they prove to be ‘measurably evolving’, which means that the time between sampling dates was long enough to allow the appearance of a measurable amount of genetic changes. This ‘temporal...
Article
Zusammenfassung Vergangene Pestepidemien wurden vor allem in schriftlichen Quellen überliefert; insbesondere die Justinianische Pest des frühen Mittelalters und der Schwarze Tod des späten Mittelalters wurden dort in lebendigen Farben beschrieben. Vor der Einführung der aDNA-Analyse war es aber oftmals schwierig, archäologische nachgewiesene Bestat...
Article
Full-text available
Im Michelsberger Erdwerk Bruchsal ‚Aue‘ wurden zwischen 1987 und 1992 vier Einzelbestattungen und zwei Mehrfachbestattungen mit drei bzw. neun Individuen freigelegt. In diesem Beitrag werden die Ergebnisse morphologischer, paläogenetischer und archäogenetischer Analysen an der Neunfachbestattung sowie den Einzelbestattungen und Skelettresten, die a...
Conference Paper
With this paper, we present burials from two early medieval cemeteries, Aschheim-Bajuwarenring and Altenerding/Klettham where the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, could be detected palaeogenetically. The burials from the early medieval cemeteries of Aschheim-Bajuwarenring and Altenerding/Klettham show that plague victims have been dresse...
Article
Full-text available
The Justinianic Plague, which started in the 6th century and lasted to the mid-8th century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9 fold) Y....
Article
Straight next to a segment of the outer ditch of the Late Neolithic Michelsberg Culture earthwork of Bruchsal-Aue in SW-Germany (ca. 4250-3650 calBC), a multiple burial of eight individuals (two male adults and six children) plus a subsequent child burial was excavated. In this study, we applied a multidisciplinary approach to elucidate interperson...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Assessing the biological and social impact of the Black Death in Cambridge. www.aftertheplague.com
Project
The goal of this project is the evaluation of population data from ancient human remains according to the individuals disease load. It comprises data from various time periods and multiple burial sites.