Johanna L. A. Paijmans

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
University of Cambridge / Nottingham Trent University

ResearchGate profile
Google Scholar citations

Research Interests

My research interests have a strong focus on tracing population shifts in response to environmental changes (e.g. climate change), using the palaeogenomic toolkit. Understanding the long-term movement and adaptation of species under the influence of changing environment is vital to understand how populations adapt (or fail to adapt) to new challenges. I am particularly excited about ancient DNA, as it allows for the investigation of extirpated populations and extinct species. These are essentially cases where the population or species failed to adapt to an environmental change, and thus of importance to study for future conservation of modern populations.


Johanna started her Bachelor degree in Science Based Archeology at Leiden University (the Netherlands) in 2004. In 2009, she moved to Univeristy of York (UK) to do a Master’s degree in Biological Archaeology. She first started working in the field of palaeogenetics during her Master’s project with Prof. Michael Hofreiter, after which she continued doing her PhD in the same group. In 2013 she moved with the Hofreiter group to the University of Postdam (Germany), and finished her there PhD in 2016. She continued working as postdoc in Potsdam, and then briefly at the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin under the supervision of Prof. Joerns Fickel. From 2019-2021 she took a career break for family reasons, and in 2021 was awared a Marie Curie Career Restart Fellowship to return to research. She is currently a Marie Curie fellow at University of Cambridge in the group from Prof. Andrea Manica, in a collaborative project with Dr. Axel Barlow, Dr. Ioana Meleg and Prof. Michael Hofreiter investigating population dynamics of the extinct cave bear.

Selected publications

Baleka, S, […], Paijmans, Johanna L.A. (senior & corresponding author). Estimating the dwarfing rate of an extinct Sicilian elephant. In: Current Biology.

Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (first & corresponding author), A. Barlow, […], and M. Hofreiter (2021). African and Asian leopards are highly distinct at the genomic level. In: Current Biology 31, 1–11.

Barlow, A., Paijmans, Johanna L. A., […], and M. Hofreiter (2021). Middle Pleistocene Cave Bear Genome Calibrates the Evolutionary History of Cave Bears. In: Current Biology 31, 1-9.

Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (first & corresponding author), […], D. W. G. Foerster (2020). “Ancestral mitogenome capture of the Southeast Asian banded linsang”. In: PLOS ONE 15.6, e0234385.

Barlow, A., […], and Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (senior & corresponding author) (2020). “Consensify: A Method for Generating Pseudohaploid Genome Sequences from Palaeogenomic Datasets with Reduced Error Rates”. In: Genes 11.1, p. 50.

Haruda, A. F., A. R. Ventresca Miller, Paijmans, J. L. A., […], and I. Arzhantseva (2020). “The earliest domestic cat on the Silk Road”. en. In: Scientific Reports 10.1, p. 11241.

Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (first & corresponding author), […], and M. Hofreiter (2018). “Historical biogeography of the leopard (Panthera pardus) and its extinct Eurasian populations”. In: BMC Evolutionary Biology 18.1, p. 156.

Taron, U. H., […], and Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (senior & corresponding author) (2018). “Testing of Alignment Parameters for Ancient Samples: Evaluating and Optimizing Mapping Parameters for Ancient Samples Using the TAPAS Tool”. In: Genes 9.3, p. 157.

Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (first & corresponding author), […], and M. Hofreiter (2017). “Evolutionary History of Saber-Toothed Cats Based on Ancient Mitogenomics”. In: Current Biology 27.21, 3330–3336.e5.

Paijmans, Johanna L. A. (first & corresponding author), […], and D. W. Förster (2016). “Impact of enrichment conditions on cross-species capture of fresh and degraded DNA”. In: Molecular Ecology Resources 16.1, pp. 42–55.

Hofreiter, M., Paijmans, Johanna L. A., […], and M. J. Collins ( 2016). “The future of ancient DNA: Technical advances and conceptual shifts”. In: BioEssays 37.3, pp. 284–293.

Paijmans, Johanna L.A. (first & corresponding author), M. T. P. Gilbert, and M. Hofreiter (2013). “Mitogenomic analyses from ancient DNA”. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69, pp. 404–416.

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