Personal profile


I graduated in Natural Sciences (Laurea, MSc equivalent) from the University of Sassari, Italy, in 2003 (final Mark 110/110 cum laude).

In 2003 I moved to the Molecular Genetics Institute, CNR of Pavia, Italy, where I worked for one year as a research assistant under the supervision of Prof. L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza on the project “Creation of a cell line bank of the Italian population”.

On January 2008 I obtained my Ph.D. in “Genetic and Biomolecular Science” (University of Pavia) under the supervision of Prof. Antonio Torroni. Dissertation title: "Mitochondrial DNA: a female perspective in human evolution". During my Ph.D. I was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship for "Early-Stage Training in Advanced Genetic Analysis" programme at the University of Leeds. Supervisor: Professor Martin Richards.

Between 2008–2009 I worked, first as a Research Assistant and then as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, at the Laboratory of Human Genetics, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pavia, under the supervision of Prof. Antonio Torroni.

In 2009 I moved to the University of Leeds, UK, as a Newton Post-Doctoral Fellow, working on the project “Origins and expansion of mitochondrial DNA haplogroup HV and the modern human settlement of West Eurasia”, under the supervision of Prof. Martin Richards, Archaeogenetics Laboratory, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology (IICB), University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

In 2011, I was appointed by the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Research Fellow in Archaeogenetics.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • The analysis of human mitochondrial DNA variability in Western Eurasia with particular focus on the Late Glacial and postglacial repopulation of Europe. 

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Research Output 2014 2017

  • 11 Article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
  • 1 Comment/debate
5 Citations

A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals

Silva, M., Oliveira, M., Vieira, D., Brandão, A., Rito, T., Pereira, J. B., Fraser, R. M., Hudson, B., Gandini, F., Edwards, C., Pala, M., Koch, J., Wilson, J. F., Pereira, L., Richards, M. B. & Soares, P. 23 Mar 2017 In : BMC evolutionary biology. 17, 1, p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Central Asia
Bronze Age
maternal lineage
7 Citations

Mitogenome Diversity in Sardinians: A Genetic Window onto an Island's Past

Olivieri, A. , Sidore, C. , Achilli, A. , Angius, A. , Posth, C. , Furtwängler, A. , Brandini, S. , Capodiferro, M. R. , Gandini, F. , Zoledziewska, M. , Pitzalis, M. , Maschio, A. , Busonero, F. , Lai, L. , Skeates, R. , Gradoli, M. G. , Beckett, J. , Marongiu, M. , Mazzarello, V. , Marongiu, P. & 12 others Rubino, S., Rito, T., Macaulay, V., Semino, O., Pala, M., Abecasis, G. R., Schlessinger, D., Conde-Sousa, E., Soares, P., Richards, M. B., Cucca, F. & Torroni, A. 1 May 2017 In : Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34, 5, p. 1230-1239 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
6 Citations

Reconciling evidence from ancient and contemporary genomes: A major source for the European Neolithic within Mediterranean Europe

Pereira, J. B., Costa, M. D., Vieira, D., Pala, M., Bamford, L., Harich, N., Cherni, L., Alshamali, F., Hatina, J., Rychkov, S., Stefanescu, G., King, T., Torroni, A., Soares, P., Pereira, L. & Richards, M. B. 22 Mar 2017 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284, 1851, 20161976

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Middle East
2 Citations

Updating the African human mitochondrial DNA tree: Relevance to forensic and population genetics

Heinz, T., Pala, M., Gómez-Carballa, A., Richards, M. B. & Salas, A. 1 Mar 2017 In : Forensic Science International: Genetics. 27, p. 156-159 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Forensic Genetics
Population Genetics
Mitochondrial DNA

Archaeogenetic and Palaeogenetic Evidence for Metal Age Mobility in Europe

Pala, M., Soares, P. & Richards, M. 2016 Celtic from the West 3: Atlantic Europe in the Metal Ages — questions of shared language . Koch, J. & Cunliffe, B. (eds.). Oxbow Books, p. 321-344

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Modern Times