Prof Ian Barnes

Professor in Molecular Palaeobiology

Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road



Scholar: [Papers in Google Scholar]


My research involves the use of molecular techniques to investigate evolutionary problems. I mainly use ancient DNA - DNA recovered from historical, archaeological and palaeontological materials - in these studies.

Biologists use evolutionary theory as a means to understand and explain the natural world. Two of the fundamental processes in evolution are extinction, where species die out, and speciation, where new species come into existence. It is particularly important to understand these processes at present, as climate and environment change seem to be having a major effect on the world's plants and animals. One way in which we try to understand how environmental changes affect living things is by studying past times and places where we know these changes occurred, trying to deduce what effect they had on the native animals and plants

Baidzherakh on the Bykovsky Peninsula, Laptev Sea (picture courtesy of Andrei Sher)courtesy of Andrei Sher)

Baidzherakh on the Bykovsky Peninsula, Laptev Sea (picture courtesy of Andrei Sher)courtesy of Andrei Sher)


Teacher, A.G.F., Thomas, J.A., & Barnes, I. (2011) Phylogeography of modern and ancient red fox in Europe shows an unusual lack of structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11:214

Ho, S.Y.W., Lanfear, R., Phillips, M.J., Barnes, I., Thomas, J.A., Kolokotronis, S.-O., and Shapiro, B. (2011) Bayesian estimation of substitution rates from ancient DNA sequences with low information content. Systematic Biology, 60(3), 366-375.

Hofreiter, M., and Barnes, I. (2010) Diversity lost: are all Holarctic large mammal species just relict populations? BMC Biology, 8: Art. No. 46.

Stewart, J.R., Lister, A.M., Barnes, I., and Dalen, L. (2010) Refugia revisited: individualistic responses of species in space and time. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 277, 661-671.

Haile, J., Froese, D.G., MacPhee, R.D.E., Roberts, R.G., Arnold, L.J., Reyes, A.V., Rasmussen, M., Nielsen, R., Brook, B.W., Robinson, S., Demuro, M., Gilbert, M.T.P., Munch, K., Austin, J.J., Cooper, A., Barnes, I., Moller, P., and Willerslev, E. (2009) Ancient DNA reveals late survival of mammoth and horse in interior Alaska. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 106, 22352-22357.

Hong H.A., Khaneja R., Tam N.M., Cazzato A., Tan S., Urdaci M., Brisson A., Gasbarrini A., Barnes I., Cutting S.M. (2009) Bacillus subtilis isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract. Research in Microbiology, 160, 134-143.

Chatterjee, H.J., Ho, S.Y.W., Barnes, I., Groves, C. (2009) Estimating the phylogeny and divergence times of primates using a supermatrix approach. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 9: Art. No. 259.

Barnett, R., Shapiro, B., Barnes, I., Ho, S.Y.W., Burger, J., Yamaguchi, N., Higham, T.F.G., Wheeler, H.T., Rosendahl, W., Sher, A.V., Sotnikova, M., Kuznetsova, T., Baryshnikov, G.F., Martin, L.D., Harington, C.R., Burns, J.A., Cooper, A. (2009) Phylogeography of lions (Panthera leo ssp.) reveals three distinct taxa and a late Pleistocene reduction in genetic diversity. Molecular Ecology, 18, 1668-1677.

Valdiosera, C.E., García-Garitagoitia J. L., Garcia, N., Doadrio, I., Thomas, M.G., Hänni, C., Arsuaga, J-L., Barnes I., Hofreiter, M., Orlando, L. and Götherström, A. (2008) Surprising migration and population size dynamics in ancient Iberian brown bears (Ursus arctos) Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 105, 5123-5128.

Thomas, M.G., Barnes I., Weale, M.E., Jones, A., Forster, P., Bradman, N. and Pramstaller, P.P. (2008) New genetic evidence supports isolation and drift in the Ladin communities of the South Tyrolean Alps but not an ancient origin in the Middle East. European Journal of Human Genetics, 16, 124–134.

Barnes I., Shapiro, B., Lister, A., Kuznetsova, T., Sher, A., Guthrie, D. and Thomas, M. (2007) Genetic Structure and Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius. Current Biology, 17, 1072-1075.

Bekele, E., Geleta, M., Dagne, K., Jones, A.L., Barnes, I., Bradman, N. and Thomas, M.G. (2007) Molecular phylogeny of genus Guizotia (Asteraceae) using DNA sequences derived from ITS. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 54, 1419-1427.

Wilson, A.S., Taylor, T., Ceruti, M.C., Chavez, J.A., Reinhard, J., Grimes, V., Meier-Augenstein, W., Cartmell, L., Stern, B., Richards, M.P., Worobey, M., Barnes, I. and Gilbert, M.T.P. (2007) Stable isotope and DNA evidence for ritual sequences in Inca child sacrifice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 104, 16456-16461.

Valdiosera, C.E., Garcia, N., Anderung, C., Dalen, L., Cregut-Bonnoure, E., Kahlke, R.D., Stiller, M., Brandstrom, M., Thomas, M.G., Arsuaga, J.L., Gotherstrom, A. and Barnes, I. Staying out in the cold: glacial refugia and mitochondrial DNA phylogeography in ancient European brown bears. Molecular Ecology, 16, 5140-5148.

Barnes I., and Thomas, M. (2006) Bacterial pathogen DNA in museum osteological collections. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 273, 645-653.

Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N., Barnes I., and Cooper, A. (2006) Lost populations and preserving genetic diversity in the lion Panthera leo: implications for its ex-situ conservation. Conservation Genetics, 4, 507-514.

Krause, J., Dear, P., Pollack, J., Slatkin, M., Spriggs, H., Barnes I., Lister, A., Pääbo, S. and Hofreiter M. (2006). Multiplex amplification of the complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene mammoth. Nature, 439, 724-727.

Barnett, R., Yamaguchi, N., Barnes, I. and Cooper, A. The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo). Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 273, 2119-2125.

Bunce, M., Szulkin, M, Lerner, H.R.L., Barnes I., Shapiro, B., Cooper, A. and Holdaway, R. (2005) Ancient DNA provides new insights into the evolutionary history of New Zealand's extinct giant eagle. Public Library of Science: Biology, 3.

Gilbert, T., Bandelt H.-J., Hofreiter, M. and Barnes I. (2005) Assessing ancient DNA studies. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20, 541-544.

Barnett, R., Barnes I., Phillips, M., Martin, L.D., van Bree, P. and Cooper, A. (2005) Evolution of the extinct sabertooth and American cheetah. Current Biology, 15, 589-590.

Gilbert, M.*, Barnes I.*, Collins, M., Smith, C., Eklund, J., Goudsmit, J., Poinar, H., Cooper A. (2005) The long-term survival of ancient DNA in Egypt. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 128, 110-114. (* Joint first authors).

Lister, A., Edwards, C., Nock D., Bunce, M., van Pijlen, I., Bradley, D., Thomas, M. and Barnes I. (2005) Phylogenetic position of the 'giant deer', Megaloceros giganteus. Nature, 438, 850-853.

Willerslev E., Hansen A.J., Rønn R., Brand T.B., Barnes I., Wiuf C., Gilichinsky D., Mitchell D., and Cooper, A. (2003) Long-term persistence of bacterial DNA. Current Biology, 14, R9-R10.

Gilbert, M., Hansen, A., Willerslev, E., Rudbeck, L., Barnes I., Lynnerup, N., Cooper, A. (2003) Characterization of genetic miscoding lesions caused by postmortem damage. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72, 48-61.

Gilbert, M., Willerslev, E., Hansen, A., Barnes I., Rudbeck, L., Lynnerup, N., Cooper, A. (2003) Distribution patterns of postmortem damage in human mitochondrial DNA. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72, 32-47.

Shapiro, B., Drummond, A., Rambaut, A., Wilson, M., Matheus, P., Sher, A., Pybus, O., Gilbert, M., Barnes I., Binladen, J., Willerslev, E., Hansen, A., Baryshnikov, G., Burns, J., Davidov, S., Driver, J., Froese, D., Harington, R., Keddie, G., Kosintsev, P., Kuntz, M., Martin, L., Stephenson, R., Storer, J., Tedford, R., Zimov, S. and Cooper, A. (2004) Rise and fall of the Beringian Steppe Bison. Science, 306, 1561-1565.

Willerslev, E., Mourier, T., Hansen, A., Christensen, B., Barnes I., Salzberg S. (2002) Contamination in the draft of the human genome masquerades as lateral gene transfer. DNA Sequence, 13, 75-6.

Barnes I., Matheus, P., Shapiro, B., Jensen, D., Cooper, A. (2002) Dynamics of Pleistocene Population Extinctions in Beringian Brown Bears. Science 295, 2267-2270.

Barnes I. and Thomas, M. (2002) Ancient DNA in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Evolution, M. Pagel (editor-in-chief).

Poinar, H., Kuch, M., Sobolik, K., Barnes I., Stankiewicz, A., Kuder, T., Spaulding, W., Bryant, V., Cooper, A., Pääbo S. (2001) A Molecular Analysis of Dietary Diversity for Three Archaic Native Americans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 98, 4317-4322.

Barnes I., Spigelman, M., Holton, J. Vaira, D. and Thomas, M. (2000). An Assessment of the Long-Term Preservation of the DNA of a Bacterial Pathogen in Ethanol-Preserved Archival Material. Journal of Pathology, 192, 554-559.

Spigleman, M.*, Barnes I.*, Holton, J., Vaira, D. and Thomas, M. (2001) Long-term DNA Survival in Ethanol-Preserved Archival Material. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, 83, 283-4. *Joint authorship.

Barnes I., Dobney, K. and Young, J.P.W. (2000). DNA-based Identification of Goose species from Two Archaeological Sites in Lincolnshire. Journal of Archaeological Science, 27, 91-100.

Barnes I., Dobney K. and Young J.P.W. (1998). The Molecular Palaeoecology of Wildfowl. Ancient Biomolecules, 1: 251.

Barnes I., Dobney, K. and Young, J.P.W. (1998). The Molecular Palaeoecology of Geese: Identification of Archaeological Goose Remains using Ancient DNA Analysis. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 8, 218-223.

Tuross, N., Barnes I. and Potts, R. (1996). Protein Identification of Blood Residues on Experimental Stone Tools. Journal of Archaeological Science, 23, 289-296.

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