Mateja Hajdinjak says: “Making inferences about human evolutionary history from present-day genomes is extremely challenging. Ancient DNA (aDNA), or DNA extracted from long dead organisms, has provided valuable insights into prehistoric events and human population history that would otherwise not be accessible. However, relatively few ancient genomes have been recovered from the times when modern humans could have met some of the last Neandertals on Earth. With this project I aim to fill this gap by applying cutting-edge methods developed for the retrieval of aDNA from very poorly preserved samples to obtain genome-wide data from both hominin groups. These data will not only allow me to reconstruct the details of the interactions between the two groups, but will also allow me to elucidate the processes leading to the eventual disappearance of Neandertals and how we made it to become the only surviving hominin group on Earth.”.