Geographical Areas of Specialization: Native America; Pacific; Asia
Research Interests: molecular anthropology; molecular evolution; population genetics; ancient DNA
During my academic career I have specialized in molecular genetic techniques that can be utilized to address anthropological questions. Over the past decade I have concentrated on the new techniques and protocols that make ancient DNA available for study, and have used these data to test hypotheses based on archaeological, linguistic, and ethnographic studies. Anthropologists have struggled with the relationship between biology and culture - how do we identify biological relationships in prehistory using cultural and skeletal remains?
In my research I have looked at several instances of hypothesized prehistoric population movement and replacement, such as the Numic Expansion in the Great Basin, the initial peopling of the New World, and the settlement of the Pacific, in an effort to determine which archaeological signals are the most reliable indicators of prehistoric migrations and relationships and to refine current hypotheses regarding these specific instances of possible population movement. In addition, my previous projects and current research interests have included much more fine-grained analyses of kinship and residence and burial patterns.
Dr. Frederika Kaestle is an anthropological geneticist, specializing in molecular genetic techniques that can be utilized to address anthropological questions.
One of Dr. Kaestle’s current research areas is the peopling of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, incorporating the archaeology, bioanthropology, and cultural anthropology of Southeast Asian peoples.