Andrew has developed a wide range of skills from attending three world class universities. He has a broad knowledge of the biological sciences, covering evolutionary theory, genetics, anthropology, and microbiology. He also used the opportunity to attended talks and workshops, gaining insights into business practice, public speaking, education, and marketing.


2013 – 2016  –  Ph.D. “Ancient DNA studies of Dental Calculus”

Principal Supervisor: Prof. A. Cooper
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide, Australia

Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

First demonstration that diet defined the functional suite of ancient oral bacterial communities, demonstrating a new tool for archaeological research and indicating the importance of diet to modern human health. Secondary focus: Incorporating science communication into research groups

  • Interdisciplinary skills, demonstrated by learning and working across multiple academic fields, including microbiology, molecular biology, and archaeology.
  • High precision working method, developed in hyper sterile ancient DNA laboratory and bioinformatic analysis.
  • Metagenomic data analysis using specialised software (QIIME, SourceTracker).
  • Science engagement: Assisted in build and management of website, blog, and social media pages, Co-produced content via blog writing/editing and video, Presented public talks in UK and Australia, and Formed collaborations with COMPASS and Children’s Uni youth programs. 


Collaboration: Museum of London, U.K.

  • Coordinated relationship with major UK museum to sample and analyse ancient oral microbiota.
  • Produced the largest dataset of a single city to date, forming a baseline for future research across this academic field.


2011 – 2012  – M.Phil. Human Evolutionary Studies

University of Cambridge, U.K.

Degree Grade: High Pass

A demanding, Biological Anthropology course covering: evolutionary anthropology, human and hominin morphology, primate behaviour and evolution, archaeology, and genetics.

Thesis: Deriving behavioural observations from genetic data.
– Bayesian statistical analysis of genetic data.
(Supervisor: Dr L. Knapp)


2007 – 2010  –  B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology

University of Manchester, U.K.

Degree Grade: 2:1

A broad theoretical course covering: evolution, genetics, behaviour, physiology, and classification, with practical experience in field, laboratory, and statistical skills.

Honours Project: Analysis of ancient human DNA from bone samples.
– Extraction and analysis of ancient mtDNA in sterile laboratory conditions.
(Supervisor: Prof. T. Brown)


Awards and Grants:

2016  –  Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

2015  –  Royal Society of South Australia Small Research Grants Scheme. (Aus$1,250)

2015  –  Runner-Up: Best Academic Poster, School of Biological Sciences.

2015  –  Winner: Post-Graduate Lightening Talks, Royal Society of South Australia.

2014  –  L. F. and D. Denholm Scholarship, University of Adelaide. (Aus$15,000)

2013  –  University of Adelaide PhD Scholarship, University of Adelaide.



Weyrich, L.S.; Duchene, S; Soubrier, J; Arriola, L; Llamas, B; Breen, J; Morris, A; Alt, K; Caramelli, D; Dresely, V; Farrell, M; Farrer, A.G. et al, 2017, Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus, Nature, 544, 7650, 357-361

Cooper, A.; Weyrich, L.S.; Farrer, A.G. 2015, The relevance of ancient DNA to contemporary disease, Pathology, 47, S28-S28

Weyrich, L.S.; Dixit, S.; Farrer, A.G.; Cooper, A.J.; Cooper, A.J. 2015, The skin microbiome: Associations between altered microbial communities and disease, Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 56, 4, 268-274


Conference Items:

Farrer, A.G.; Dobney, K., Weyrich, L.S.; Cooper, A. 2016, “Unappreciated ecosystem diversity of oral microbiota detected in ancient Britain”, 7th Annual International Symposium for Biomolecular Archaeology (ISBA7), Oxford, United Kingdom

Farrer, A.G.; Lekis, M.; Weyrich, L.S.; Cooper, A. 2016, “Training and Inspiring University Students: Incorporating Science Communication into Research Groups”, Festival of Learning and Teaching, University of Adelaide, South Australia

Farrer, A.G.; Weyrich, L.S.; Cooper, A. 2015, “Ancient DNA studies provide a basis for medical research”, Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) SA Scientific Meeting, South Australia