João Teixeira

João C. Teixeira is an ARC DECRA Fellow within the School of Culture, History and Language at The Australian National University, and affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. His research combines population genetics, ancient DNA, bioinformatics, statistics and anthropology to study the origin and evolution of the human species. João is particularly interested in Pleistocene human evolution, human population adaptation to environmental change and historical human migrations in Europe and the Americas.

João has a vast international research experience in world-leading scientific institutions. After obtaining a degree in Biology and a MSc in Forensic Genetics at the University of Porto, in his native Portugal, he completed a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Germany. During his PhD, João focused on studying how natural selection maintains advantageous genetic diversity for millions of years in humans and closest living relatives. After finishing his PhD, he became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut Pasteur, in France, studying the evolution of immune responses in primate species. He then moved to the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, at the University of Adelaide, where his research focused on Pleistocene human evolution and the genetic history of Europe and the Americas using ancient DNA.

Currently, João is combining genetics, archaeology and anthropology to provide a detailed understanding on the encounters between archaic and modern human populations in Island Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Australia which occurred more than 50,000 years ago. He is also leading several projects to measure the genetic impacts of historical migrations in Europe, including those associated with the Roman, Visigoth, Suebi and Muslim empires, and European colonisation of the Americas.

Research area/theme
Detecting remote historical signal
Colonising Saul
Holocene revolutions
Local diversification
Island Melanesia after Lapita
Relevant publications

Teixeria, J. & Huber, C. 2021. The inflated significance of neutral genetic diversity in conservation genetics. PNAS. 118(10) e2015096118;

Teixeira JC, Jacobs GS, Stringer C, Tuke J, Hudjashov G, Purnomo GA, Sudoyo H, Tobler R, Cox MP, Turney CSM, Cooper A, Helgen KM. (2020) Introgression, hominin dispersal and megafaunal survival in Late Pleistocene Island Southeast Asia. bioRxiv. doi:

Teixeira JC, Huber CD. (2020) Dismantling a dogma: the inflated significance of neutral genetic diversity in conservation genetics. arXiv:2007.02569.

Williams MP, Teixeira JC. (2020) A genetic perspective on human origins. The Biochemist. 42(1):6-10.

Souilmi Y, Tobler R, Johar A, Williams M, Grey ST, Schmidt J, Teixeira JC, Rohrlach A, Tuke J, Johnson OL, Gower GR, Turney C, Cox M, Huber CD, Cooper A. (2020) Ancient Eurasian genomes reveal strong and rapid selection for cold and carbohydrate diets. bioRxiv. doi:

Barquera R, Collen E, Di D, Buhler S, Teixeira J, Llamas B, Nunes JM, Sanchez-Mazas A. (2020) Binding affinities of 438 HLA proteins to complete proteomes of seven pandemic viruses and distributions of strongest and weakest HLA peptide binders in populations worldwide. HLA. doi:

O’Neill MB, Laval G, Teixeira JC, Palmenberg A, Pepperell C. (2019) Genetic susceptibility to severe childhood asthma and rhinovirus-C maintained by balancing selection in humans for 150,000 years. Hum. Mol. Genet. 29(5):736-744.

Teixeira JC, Cooper A. (2019) Using hominin introgression to trace modern human dispersals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 116(31):15327-15332.

Bitarello B,de Filippo C, Teixeira JC, Schmidt J, Kleinert P, Meyer D, Andrés AM. (2018) Signatures of long-term balancing selection in human genomes. Gen. Biol. Evol. 10(3):939-955.

Teixeira JC, de Filippo C, Weihmann A, et al. (2015) Long-term balancing selection in LAD1 maintains a missense trans-species polymorphism in humans, chimpanzees and bonobos. Mol. Biol. Evol. 32(5):1186-96.

Nogueiro I, Teixeira JC, Amorim A, Gusmão L, Alvarez L. (2015) Portuguese crypto-Jews: the genetic heritage of a complex history. Front. Genet. 6:12. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00012

Key FM, Teixeira JC, de Filippo C, Andrés AM. (2014) Advantageous diversity maintained by balancing selection in humans.  Curr. Opin. Genet. Devel. 29:45-51.

Nogueiro I, Teixeira J, Amorim A, Gusmão L, Alvarez L. (2014) Reply to letter from Felice L. Bedford and Doron Yacobi. Eur. Journ. Hum. Genet. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.232

Nogueiro I, Teixeira J, Amorim A, Gusmão L, Alvarez L. (2014) Echoes from Sepharad: signatures on the maternal gene pool of crypto-Jewish descendants. Eur. Journ. Hum. Genet. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.140

Teixeira JC, Nogueiro I, Goios A, Gusmão L, Amorim A, Alvarez A. (2011) Mitochondrial DNA-control region sequence variation in the NE Portuguese Jewish community. FSI Genet. Suppl. Ser. 3, e51-e52. doi:10.1016/j.fsigss.2011.08.025.

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