Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Dr. Chiara Barbieri

Kahlaische Strasse 10

07745 Jena



Dr. Chiara Barbieri

Dr. Chiara Barbieri

Dr. Chiara Barbieri


  • +49 (0) 3641 686-830


Main Focus

My research focuses on the reconstruction of the human past from our genetic record, and on the relationships between genetic fingerprints and demographic events such as human migration, diffusion and contact. I am particularly interested in exploring parallels between genetic and other anthropological disciplines, especially linguistics. I studied the genetic prehistory of various regions within sub-Saharan Africa, southern Europe and Italy, and South America.

Research topics:
  • South American prehistory
  • Diffusion of the Inca Empire and of Quechua languages
  • Congruence between gene and language transmission

Curriculum Vitae

Postdoc position at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. Project “Refining the Y chromosome phylogeny with southern African sequences” (2014-2015)

Postdoc position at University of Bologna, Italy, project "LanGeLin: Meeting Darwin’s last challenge: toward a global tree of human languages and genes" (2013-2014)

PhD in Molecular Anthropology
, University of Bologna, Italy, and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. "Comparing genetic and linguistic diversity in African populations with a focus on the Khoisan of southern Africa" (2009-2013)

Master Degree in Biodiversity and Evolution, University of Bologna, Italy (2005-2008)

Selected Publications

  • Barbieri, Chiara*, 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
  • Sara De Fanti*, Chiara Barbieri*, Stefania Sarno, Federica Sevini, Dario Vianello, Erika Tamm, Ene Metspalu, Mannis van Oven, Marco Sazzini, Claudio Franceschi, Davide Pettener, Donata Luiselli. 2015. Fine dissection of human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup HV lineages reveals Paleolithic signatures from European glacial refugia. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0144391. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144391
  • Barbieri, Chiara, 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.
  • Macholdt, Enrico, Vera Lede, Chiara Barbieri, 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.
  • Barbieri, Chiara, 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, Chiara, Anne Butthof, Koen Bostoen, and Brigitte Pakendorf. 2012. Genetic perspectives on the origin of clicks in Bantu languages from southwestern Zambia. European Journal of Human Genetics: EJHG (August 29). doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.192.
  • Barbieri, Chiara, 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 (4) (April): 1213–1223.
  • de Filippo Cesare*, Chiara Barbieri*, 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. Y-chromosomal variation in Sub-Saharan Africa: insights into the history of Niger-Congo groups. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28(3): 1255-1269 doi:10.1093/molbev/msq312
  • Barbieri, Chiara, 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. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21107

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Dept. of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
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