We would like to congratulate the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA and the South Australian Museum for their Aboriginal Hair Project, which won a Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research last night.
The black tie award ceremony awarded 17 awards for the best scientific research, citizen science and research in the last year within Australia.
The project was published in Nature earlier this year with Dr Ray Tobler as lead author. The work assembled a timeline for Aboriginal Australian’s arrival and settlement in Australia through mitochondrial DNA gained from hair samples collected during a series of remarkable anthropological expeditions across Australia from 1928 to the 1970s and are part of the South Australian Museum’s unparalleled collection.
“Amazingly, it seems that from around this time the basic population patterns have persisted for the next 50,000 years -showing that communities have remained in discrete geographical regions,” says project leader Professor Alan Cooper, Director of ACAD, University of Adelaide.
A central pillar of the Aboriginal Heritage Project is that Aboriginal families and communities have been closely involved with the project from its inception and that analyses are only conducted with their consent.
Courtesy of the Australian Museum and Brad Griffin Photography