An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Linking livestock genetic diversity with three thousand years of agricultural crises and resilience


Maintaining diversity amongst livestock is recognised as one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. But it remains unclear how much genetic variability was present, and subsequently lost, before, during and after either of the Agricultural Revolutions. Also, we do not understand how efficiently it was utilised. The EU-funded PALAEOFARM will investigate how livestock populations withstood epidemics and selective breeding in a world without antibiotics or quantitative genetic techniques. The answer will provide a new perspective on how a multi-billion euro industry, responsible for feeding billions of people, can be sustained in the face of major biotechnological obsolescence. The project will use ancient DNA, archaeozoology and experimental immunology to identify how genetic variability was leveraged across major agricultural transitions in European history.

Queen Mary, University of London
Start date
End date
Funding Source
Project number