Joel Alves

Fulford Junior Research Fellow; Postdoctoral Researcher in Evolutionary Genetics

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oxford’s School of Archaeology and a Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College.

As a geneticist working in an archaeology setting, my research sits at the intersection of natural and social sciences. Most of my work uses DNA from contemporary and archaeological populations to investigate how humans and the environment have shaped the genomes of species. I am interested in a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the process of domestication to the adaptation to novel habitats.

I am originally from Portugal, where I did my undergraduate in Biology at the University of Porto, followed by a master’s in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution at CIBIO Institute. I then moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge on the topic of evolution of viral resistance. In 2018, I joined the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford where I am currently leading research projects that use Ancient DNA to investigate how humans and animals have interacted through time.


Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus. Alves JM et al.; Science 2019, (DOI:10.1126/science.aau7285)

Celebrating Easter, Christmas and their associated alien fauna. Lauritsen M, et al.; World Archaeology 2018 (DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2018.1515655)

Adaptive introgression underlies polymorphic seasonal camouflage in snowshoe hares. Jones MR, et al.; Science 2018, (DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5273)

Host shifts result in parallel genetic changes when viruses adapt to closely related species. Longdon B et al; PLoS Pathogens 2018 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006951)

Rabbit genome analysis reveals a polygenic basis for phenotypic change during domestication. Carneiro M et al.; Science 2014, (DOI: 10.1126/science.1253714)

Where Next?