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Eske Willerslev

External Chair of Geogenetics
Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, Københavns Universitet


Professor Eske Willerslev, ScD, Director of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre at the University of Copenhagen, Prince Philip Professor at University of Cambridge and Excellence Professor at Bremen University.

Professor Eske Willerslev is a well-known Danish DNA researcher and evolutionary geneticist notable for his pioneering work in molecular anthropology, paleontology and ecology.

In 2016 New York Times brought a portrait on him as a world known scientific profile.

Professor Eske Willerslev has currently obtained more than 21 prizes and acknowledgements. Some of these are:

The Olav Thon Foundation’s International Research Award (2021) for outstanding research in the Natural Sciences.

Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and of the Danish Council on Ethics (Etiske Råd) (from 2020)

The Preservation Hero Award (2017) from the Department of Archaeology and Historical preservation in Washington State for his work on the Kennewick Man Genome.

Order of the Dannebrog (2017), issued by her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

The Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) Award (2015), for the best research published within the field of archaeology in 2014-2015.

Foreign Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA (NAS) (2014). This membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honours that a scientist can receive. The NAS foreign membership totals only 440 associates worldwide.

Honorary Doctor (doctor honoris causa) at University of Oslo (2014). These honorary degrees are conferred on a very few international distinguished researchers every three years to honour their overall contribution to science.

In 2020 he was recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher within ‘Cross-Field’ for the second time and within ‘Environment and Ecology’ for the first time by producing multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science.

Professor Eske Willerslev is recognized all over the world as an outstanding academic capacity – but also as a great storyteller and with him evolutionary biology is never boring. As a DNA detective, he has revealed revolutionary truths about the past and about the unknowns in human history and the tales of his adventures have been published in five popular books in Danish.

For more information about Professor Eske Willerslev and his research, please refer to his research group website.