SPAAM Summer School: Introduction to Ancient Metagenomics

Intro to Ancient Metagenomics SummerSchool

Members of SPAAM will be running it’s first training Summer School this year in August!

See the abstract below, and more information on the dedicated website here

The organisers plan to make all material available online on the website, so keep your eyes peeled 👀.


Ancient metagenomics applies cutting-edge metagenomic methods to the degraded DNA content of archaeological and paleontological specimens. The rapidly growing field is currently uncovering a wealth of novel information for both human and natural history, from identifying the causes of devastating pandemics such as the Black Death, to revealing how past ecosystems changed in response to long-term climatic and anthropogenic change, to reconstructing the microbiomes of extinct human relatives. However, as the field grows, the techniques, methods, and workflows used to analyse such data are rapidly changing and improving.

In this summer school (block praktikum) we will go through the main steps of ancient metagenomic bioinformatic workflows, familiarising students with the command line, demonstrating how to process next-generation-sequencing (NGS) data, and showing how to perform de novo metagenomic assembly. Focusing on host-associated ancient metagenomics, the course consists of a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, allowing participants to become familiar with the types of questions and data researchers work with. Round table discussions with experts at each stage of the workflow will be held to allow participants to get advice on their own projects and research.

By the end of the course, participants will have an understanding of how to effectively carry out the major bioinformatic components of an ancient metagenomic project in an open and transparent manner.