Joana Correia Pinto (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | March 27, 2015 | 14h30 |CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão





Southern African populations that speak non-Bantu languages with click consonants are known to harbour some of the most ancient genetic lineages in humans, although their history remains poorly understood. The southern Angola region, in particular, is peopled by groups who arrived to the region in very different prehistoric periods and whose origins and interactions remain unsolved. These groups include Khoisan-speaking hunter gatherers, Bantu-speaking peoples with different degrees of dependence on agriculture and pastoralism, and remnant hunter-gathering populations, who might have reached the region before the arrival of Bantu groups and after the indigenous Khoisan-speaking groups. The dichotomy between the origin and migration routes of the Bantu peoples of southern Africa, or the role played by pre-Bantu shepherds in the emergence of pastoral scene in southwest Africa, are questions that depend critically on the comprehensive characterization of the various dimensions of human diversity in southern Angola.
Here I will present data on the genetic diversity of lactase persistence and resistance to African sleeping sickness that point to a genetic link between southern Angolan groups and peoples from eastern Africa.


Joana Correia Pinto is a research technician in the HUMANEVOL group, under the supervision of Professor Jorge Rocha (CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto). Joana has a degree in Biology (2010) and a MSc in Biodiversity, Genetic and Evolution (2012) by the University of Porto. She is currently studying the genetic diversity of pastoral peoples in the province of Namibe in southern Angola, and breeds of cattle and sheep kept by these populations. Joana is performing a comparative study of various types of DNA polymorphisms with the aim of studying the history of ethnic groups, like the Mukwepe, Mukwisi, Muhimba and Mucubal.


Image credits: Jorge Rocha