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Curriculum vitae



Dr. Elmira Mohandesan


University of Vienna

Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Althanstrasse 14 (UZA1)

1090 Vienna



Tel: 0043-1-4277-54716

[email protected]


ORCID: 0000-0002-4563-9276

Website: https://mohandesanlab.univie.ac.at/




Date and place of birth: 31.12.1978

Place of birth: Tehran, Iran

Citizenship: Austrian

Family status: Married, one child (born 10.06.2019)



My research interests mainly cover the topics in population genomics, phylogenetics and animal domestications. I am very fascinated by the field of ancient DNA (aDNA) and the development of new laboratory methods in combinations with next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) that enable us to directly observe the genetic structure of the population and the pattern of genetic changes in the past. I have been working on ancient specimens from various species, such as human, cave bear, chimpanzee, iconic New Zealand Tuatara, Arabian camels and horses.



Project title: Mules contribution to Equine Population in Austria & Germany; Project number: I 3838 FWF = Lead Agency – DACH= partner organization; Amount: 400.121,40 Euro; Duration: 2019-2022




Principle Investigator (June 2019 – June 2023)

Maternity leave: April 2018 - June 2019

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (October 2016 – March 2018)

Institute for Molecular Evolution and Development, University of Vienna (PI: Dr. Qi Zhou)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (June 2012 – July 2015 & January 2016 – February 2016)

Institute of Population Genetics and Research Institute for Wildlife and Ecology, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria (PI: Dr. Pamela Burger)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Aug 2015 - Dec 2015)

Institute of Population Genetics, Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria (PI: Prof. Christian Schlötterer)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (July 2011 – December 2011)

Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria (PI: Prof. Tecumseh Fitch)

Teaching Assistance (2007 - 2010)

Massey University, New Zealand (PI: Dr. Gabriele Schmidt-Adam, Kane Cage)

Research Assistant (2005 - 2006)

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany  (PI: Prof. Michael Hofreiter)


Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in molecular evolution and genetics(2006 - 2011)

Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand (PI: Prof. David M. Lambert)

Master of Sciences (MSc) in molecular genetics(2002 - 2005)

Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran (PI: Prof. Javad Mowla)

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Zoology(1997 - 2001)

Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



March 2015     First prize (design and journalistic features) of the VetmedUni Vienna annual contest for science and communication for the poster “The first draft of the mitochondrial genome of the wild and early domestic Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) reconstructed from Ancient DNA”; award attributed by the Austrian newspapers jury.

October 2009 - July 2010          Massey University PhD completion Scholarship

June - July 2008            Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMBS), Massey University

Travel Award, Attending to the 13th Annual Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics, Washington, Seattle

University of Washington Scholarship, Attending to the 13th Annual Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics, Washington, Seattle

Oct 2006 - Oct 2009     Allan Wilson Institute Doctoral Scholarship

June 2005 - Sep 2006    Max-Planck Institute Research Assistant Scholarship

August 2002     Ranked the 3rd Place in the National Exam of the Master of Science in Genetic, Iran

June 2001         Honors and Awards for Superior Academic Achievement, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran



Dr. Pamela Burger, Vetmeduni Vienna

Dr. Michael Hofreiter, University of Potsdam, Germany

Prof. Joris Peters, LMU Munich, Germany

Prof. David Lambert, Brisbane University, Australia



Mohandesan E, Fitak RR, Corander J, Yadamsuren A, Chuluunbat B, Abdelhadi O, Raziq A, Nagy P, Stalder G, Walzer C, Faye B, Burger PA. Mitogenome Sequencing in the Genus Camelus Reveals Evidence for Purifying Selection and Long-term Divergence between Wild and Domestic Bactrian Camels. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 30;7(1):9970. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08995-8.

Mohandesan E, Speller CF, Peters J, Uerpmann M, Uerpmann HP, De Cupere B, Hofreiter M, Burger PA (2016). Combined Hybridization Capture and Shotgun Sequencing for Ancient DNA Analysis of Extinct Wild and Domestic Dromedary Camel. Molecular Ecology Resources, doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12551

Al-Mathen F*, Charruau P*, Mohandesan E*, Peters J, Abdussamad M, Raziq A, Faye B, Al-Eknah M,Walzer C, Hanotte O, Burger P (2016). Dynamics of domestication and trading revealed by the global genetic diversity of the dromedary. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

*These authors contributed equally to this work and are listed in alphabetical order.

Plasil M, Mohandesan E, Fitak R, Musilova P, Kubickova S, Burger P, Horin P (2016). The Major Histocompatibility Complex in Old World camelids and low polymorphism of its class II genes. BMC Genomics, 17:167, DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2500-1

Hemmati B, Banabazi MH, Shahkarami S, Mohandesan E, Burger P (2015) Genetic diversity within Bactrian camel population of Ardebil province. Research on Animal Production

Fitak RR, Mohandesan E, Corander J, Burger PA (2015) The de novo genome assembly and annotation of a female domestic dromedary of North African origin. Molecular Ecololy Resources, doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12443

Galik A, Mohandesan E, Forstenpointner G, Scholz UM, Ruiz E, Krenn M, Burger PA (2015) A sunken ship of the desert at the river Danube in Tulln, Austria. PLoS One, 10(4):e0121235. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121235

Subramanian S, Mohandesan E, Millar CD, Lambert DM (2015) Distance-dependent patterns of molecular divergences in tuatara mitogenomes. Nature Scientific Report, 5:8703. doi: 10.1038/srep08703

Ruiz EJ, Mohandesan E, Fitak B, Burger P (2014) Diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism markers to identify hybridization between dromedary and Bactrian camels. Conservation Genetics Resources, doi 10.1007/s12686-015-0420-z

Stiller M, Molak M, Prost S, Rabeder G, Baryshnikov G, Rosendahl W, Münzel S, Bocherens H, Grandal-d'Anglade A, Hilpert B, Germonpré M, Stasyk O, Pinhasi R, Rohland N, Mohandesan E, Ho S, Knapp M, Hofreiter M (2013) Mitochondrial DNA diversity and evolution of the Pleistocene cave bear complex. Quatern Int, 339: 224-231

Gingras B, Mohandesan E, Boko D, Fitch WT (2013) Phylogenetic signal in the acoustic parameters of the advertisement calls of four clades of anurans. BMC Evol Bio. 13:134. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-134

Mohandesan E, Subramanian S, Millar CD, Lambert DM (2013) Complete mitochondrial genomes of Tuatara endemic to different islands of New Zealand. Mitochondrial DNA, 26(1): 25-6. doi: 10.3109/19401736.2013.840613

Mohandesan E, Prost S, Hofreiter M (2011) Case Study: Using a nondestructive DNA Extraction method to generate mtDNA sequences from historical Chimpanzee specimens. Ancient DNA: Methods and Protocols. In: Beth Shapiro, Editor. Springer. New York

Subramanian S, Hay JM, Mohandesan E, Millar CD, Lambert DM (2009) Molecular and morphological evolution in tuatara are decoupled. Trends in Genetic. 25:16-18

Millar CD, Huynen L, Subramanian S, Mohandesan E, Lambert DM (2008) New developments in ancient genomics. Trends in Evolution and Ecology, 23:386-393, Review

Hay JM, Subramanian S, Millar CD, Mohandesan E, Lambert DM (2008) Rapid Molecular Evolution in living fossils. Trends in Genetic, 24:106-109

Mohandesan E, Mowla SJ, Noobari AH, Hofreiter M (2008) Ancient DNA from Human and Animal Remains from Northwest Iran. Journal of Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran, 19: 3-8

Mohandesan E. Nokate Bartar, scientific book about genetics (2006) Published by Samat Publications, Iran

Mohandesan E, Mowla SJ, Noobari AH, Yaghoobi MM, Mesbah-Namin SA (2004) Extraction and analysis of ancient DNA from human remains of Masjede Kabood burial site. Iranian Journal of Biotechnology, 2:236-242



Mohandesan E, Charrau P, Hofreiter M, Joris J, Uerpmann H-P, Burger P. What can we learn about dromedary camel domestication from ancient DNA. SMBE (2015) Vienna, Austria

Mohandesan E, Speller C, Lundstrom I, Hofreiter M, Joris J, Gilbert T, Burger P. The first draft of the mitochondrial genome of the wild and early domestic Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius) reconstructed from Ancient DNA. SMBE (2014) Peurto Rico, USA

Mohandesan M. Estimating the Evolutionary Rate in the Mitochondrial Genome of Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). International Evolution conference (2007) Christchurch, New Zealand

Elmira Mohandesan. Extraction and Analysis of ancient DNA from human remains of Masjede Kabood burial site. The 12th Iranian Biology Conference (2004), Bu Ali Sina University



EMBO Post-Genomic Phylogenetics (Italy)

Introduction to Evolutionary Genetics (IST Institute, Austria)

Probability and Statistical Inferences (University of Washington)

Markov Chain Monte Carlo for Genetics (University of Washington)

Analysis of Genetic Data on Related Individuals (University of Washington)

Coalescent Theory (University of Washington)

Education/Academic qualification

Molecular Evolution and Genetics, PhD, The Evolution of the Mitochondrial DNA in Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), Massey University

1 Oct 200611 Apr 2011

Award Date: 28 Apr 2011

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