Dr Oliver Smith obtained his undergraduate degree in Archaeology from the University of Liverpool in 2005, and being fascinated by the potential of scientific methods to ancient remains, went on to complete a MSc in Biomedical & Forensic Archaeology at the University of Manchester.
Continuing this, Ollie then went on to obtain a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Warwick, where he researched palaeo-epigenomics with ancient DNA and ancient RNA from a variety of archaeological materials. Here he sequenced the first ever viral genome derived from ancient RNA, from a 700-year-old cereal grain, showing that stress- responsive in-vivo mechanisms can be detected in long-dead organisms.
Following two further postdocs at Warwick (one on ancient DNA metagenomics from marine sediments, the other on population genomics of domesticated plants), he completed a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in Denmark at Copenhagen University. Here he picked up his research into palaeo-epigenomics again, to research the domestication of dogs using ancient biomolecules, and further work on bacterial meta- pathogenomics from mummified remains.
Ollie joined Micropathology’s virology team in May 2019 as a postdoctoral scientist.