Portraits of Laureates
Ludovic ORLANDO welcomed by the laboratoire d’Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse - Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology and Image Synthesis, (MRU 5288) CNRS – Université Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier. Project:OURASI - A genomic, epigenomic and metagenomic perspective on the history of horse domestication and management.
At the age of 36, Ludovic Orlando, Doctor of the University of Lyon, is recognised as a world leader in the study of the paleogenome (ancient DNA). Researcher at the University of Copenhagen, it was as coordinator for an international team of 56 scientists that he reconstructed, in 2013, the most ancient sequence of genome ever found, that of a horse in Alaska that dates back some 700,000 years.
Paleogenomics is a multidisciplinary approach, (archaeology, biology, human sciences) that takes an interest in the processes of hominid adaptation through different contacts established, in particular during the period of settlement of Europe. It tries, for example, to identify why the genome of some populations has progressively disappeared or how other populations have managed to adapt to their environment.
Already in collaboration with the host laboratory's teams, the project that Ludovic Orlando hopes to develop in the framework of the IDEX chairs of attractivity, is based on the most recent developments in the field of genomics and the study of ancient DNAs. It aims to retrace genomic, epigenomic and metagenomic modifications introduced by the domestication of the horse and its use in the past. It will therefore study how the emergence of chariots and cavalry have transformed its behaviour, physiology, in short the biology of the horse, and it will compare such situations with natural situations where the horse has evolved without (or almost without) human interference, based on an analysis of horses of the late Pleistocene Epoch in North America and Yakutia. The project will be a major contribution to our understanding of the phenomenon of domestication, a process that profoundly changed the face of humanity. It will also allow us to embark on a new phase in approaches to evolutionary biology.