Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell’Ambiente


  • November 4, 1959 - Leghorn (Italy)


  • 1978-1982 - M.S. in Biology (2-18-1983) University of Pisa;
  • 1983-1987 - Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology (10-5-1987) University of Florence.

ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENTS (place, date and position):

  • University of Pisa, Institute of Anthropology (1983-1987): post-graduate
  • University of Cape Town, Dept. of Archaeology (1988): post-doc, Director: A. Sillen
  • University of Pisa, Institute of Anthropology (1989-1990): contract research assistant
  • University of Stanford, Dept. of Genetics (1991-1992): research assistant, Director: LL. Cavalli-Sforza
  • University of Sassari, Dept. of Zoology and Biological Anthropology (1992-2003): Researcher in Physical Anthropology
  • University of Sassari, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences (2004-2018): Professor of Genetics
  • University of Caglairi, Dept. of Environmental and Life Sciences (2018 - present): Professor of Genetics 


  • 1995 to 2004 - Temporary Professor of Anthropology for Natural Sciences and Biological Sciences.
  • 1996 to 2004 -Temporary Professor of Population Genetics for Environmental Sciences (up to 2000) and Natural Sciences
  • 2004 to present - Titular Professor of Genetics Molecular Genetics and Population Genetics for Biological Sciences, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology
  • 2008-2015 - Visiting professor for the Masters in Molecular Biomedicine, University of Alicante
  • 2016-2018 - Visiting professor for the Master in Medical Biotechnologies, University of Hue (Vietnam)
  • Director of about 100 bachelor and master thesis in Natural Sciences, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences
  • Director of 2 Doctoral thesis in Human Population Genetics (Università di Sassari)
  • Co-director of 1 Doctoral thesis in Physical Anthropology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)


  • Invited speaker for seminars, conferences, summer schools and courses at the following universities and academic institutions, national and international: Italian universities: Pisa, Florence, Turin, Milan, Insubria (Varese), Bologna, Rome "Tor Vergata", Cagliari, Bari, Palermo, Messina; Foreign universities: Harvard-MIT, Philadelphia, Princeton-IAS (USA), Göttingen, Mainz (Germany), Barcelona, Autonomous of Barcelona, Alicante (Spain), Komotini (Greece), Court (France), Wroclaw (Poland), Ponta Delgada (Portugal); Scientific institutions: Natural History Museum of Verona, Livorno, Pavia, Museo Etnografico “Pigorini”, Roma. National Institute of Health (Rome)


  • Analysis of mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome in human populations
  • Analysis of DNA from ancient tissues
  • Surname analysis
  • Molecular phylogeny and Population genetics of various vertebrate, invertebrate and microbial species


  • Associated editor of BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • Reviewer for the following journals: Annals of Human Genetics, Human Biology, PLoS Biology, BMC Genomics, Human Mutations, GigaScience, and others.


  • Associazione Genetica Italiana (AGI)
  • Società Italiana di Biologia Evoluzionistica (SIBE)
  • Associazione Antropologi Italiani (AAI)


  • Participation in national and international scientific projects:
  • 1989-1990 Collaborator to the project between Italy and Spain (Integrated Actions): "Comparative study of methodologies for the paleodietary analysis". In collaboration with the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.
  • 1992-1993 Local coordinator of the CNR project " Biological Archive: subproject Anthropology
  • 1997 Italian-Spanish project (Integrated Actions): "Analysis of mitochondrial DNA in ancient Mediterranean populations" In collaboration with the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.
  • 1997-1999 Participant to the CNR project “Biological Archive" coordinated by L.Terrenato
  • 1998-2003 Collaborator to the project PRIN coordinated by G. De Stefano.
  • 1999-2003 Participant to the Interreg project with the University of Corte (Corsica)
  • 2000-2006 Collaborator at the Centre of Excellence set up at the University of Sassari
  • 2003-2005 Collaborator to the project Interreg III with the University of Corte (Corsica), Cagliari (Sardinia) and Pisa (Tuscany)
  • 2010-2011 Head of project RAS "High resolution phylogeny of the human Y chromosome"


  • 11-12 / 3/2000 Irgoli (NU) - Organization of the national meeting: "Irgoli: biodemography and population genetics using surnames"
  • 2-5 / 10/2008 Alghero (SS) Organization of the international congress of the Italian Society of Evolutionary Biology (SIBE)


  • Italian = mother tongue
  • English = fluent
  • Spanish = fluent
  • French = good


  • CEG. Amorim, S Vai, C Posth, Al Modi, I Koncz, S Hakenbeck, MC La Rocca, B Mende, D Bobo, W Pohl, L Pejrani Baricco, E Bedini, P Francalacci, C Giostra, T Vida, D Winger, U von Freeden, S Ghirotto, M Lari, G Barbujani, J Krause, D Caramelli, PJ Geary, KR Veeramah (2018) Understanding 6th-century barbarian social organization and migration through paleogenomics. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 9:3547
  • P Anagnostou, V Dominici, C Battaggia, L Pagani, M Vilar, RS Wells, D Pettener, S Sarno, A Boattini, P Francalacci, V Colonna, G Vona, CM Calò, G Destro Bisol, S Tofanelli (2017) Overcoming the dichotomy between open and isolated populations using genomic data from a large European dataset. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 7: 41614
  • M Simón, N Díaz, E Solórzano, R Montiel, P Francalacci, A Malgosa (2017) Dissecting mitochondrial dna variability of balearic populations from the bronze age to the current era. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN BIOLOGY 29:  e22883
  • P. Francalacci, D. Sanna, A. Useli, R. Berutti, M. Barbato, M. B Whalen, A. Angius, C. Sidore, S. Alonso, S. Tofanelli, F. Cucca (2015) Detection of phylogenetically informative polymorphisms in the entire euchromatic portion of human Y chromosome from a Sardinian sample. BMC RESEARCH NOTES 8 (1), 174
  • S.Tofanelli, L.Taglioli, S.Bertoncini, P. Francalacci, A.Klyosov, L.Pagani (2014) Mitochondrial and Y chromosome haplotipe motifs as diagnostic markers od Jewish ancestry: a reconsideration. FRONTIERS IN GENETICS doi:10.3389/gene2014.00384
  • E. Elhaik, T Tatarinova, D Chebotarev, IS. Piras, CM Calò, A De Montis, M Atzori, M Marini, S Tofanelli, P. Francalacci, L Pagani, C Tyler-Smith, Y Xue, F Cucca, TG. Schurr, JB. Gaieski, C. Melendez, MG. Vilar, AC. Owings, R. Gomez, R. Fujita, F.Santos, D Comas, O Balanovsky, E Balanovska, P Zalloua, H Soodyall, R Pitchappan, A GaneshPrasad, M Hammer, SR.Wells, and the Genographic Consortium (2014) Geographic Population Structure (GPS) of worldwide human populations infers biogeographical origin down to home village. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. DOI:10.1038/ncomms4513
  • M. Capocasa, P. Anagnostou, V. Bachis, C. Battaggia, S. Bertoncini, G. Biondi, A. Boattini, I. Boschi, F. Brisighelli, C.M. Calò, M. Carta, V. Coia, L. Corrias, F. Crivellaro, V. Dominici, G. Ferri, P. Francalacci, Z.A. Franceschi, D. Luiselli, L. Morelli, O. Rickards, R. Robledo, D. Sanna, E. Sanna, S. Sarno, S. Tofanelli, G. Vona, D. Pettener, G. Destro Bisol (2014) Linguistic, geographic and genetic isolation: a collaborative study on Italian populations JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES 92 doi: 10.4436/jass92001
  • P.Francalacci, L.Morelli, A.Angius, R.Berutti, F.Reinier, R.Atzeni, R.Pilu, F.Busonero, A.Maschio, I.Zara, D.Sanna, A.Useli, M.F.Urru, M.Marcelli, R.Cusano, M.Oppo3, M.Zoledziewska, M.Pitzalis, F.Deidda, E.Porcu, F.Poddie, H.M.Kang, R.Lyons, B.Tarrier, J.Bragg Gresham, B.Li, S.Tofanelli, S.Alonso, M.Dei, S.Lai, A.Mulas, M.B.Whalen, S.Uzzau, C.Jones, D.Schlessinger, G.R.Abecasis, S.Sanna, C.Sidore,, F.Cucca (2013) Low pass DNA sequencing of 1,200 Sardinians reconstructs European Y chromosome phylogeny. SCIENCE 341:565-569
  • E. Elhaik, E. Greenspan, S. Staats, T. Krahn, C. Tyler-Smith, Y. Xue, S. Tofanelli, P. Francalacci, F. Cucca, L. Pagani, L. Jin, H. Li, T. G. Schurr, B. Greenspan, R. S. Wells, and the Genographic Consortium. (2013) The GenoChip: A New Tool for Genetic Anthropology. GENOME BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, doi:10.1093/gbe/evt066
  • L. Alvarez, C. Santos, A. Ramos, R. Pratdesaba, P. Francalacci, M.P. Aluja (2010) Mitochondrial DNA Patterns in the Iberian Northern Plateau: Population Dynamics and Substructure of the Zamora Province. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21252
  • L. Morelli, D. Contu, F. Santoni, M.B. Whalen, P. Francalacci, F. Cucca (2010) A Comparison of Y-Chromosome Variation in Sardinia and Anatolia is More Consistent with Cultural Rather than Demic Diffusion of Agriculture. PLOS ONE, 5: e10419
  • K. Nalam, A. Ahmed, S. Manjulata Devi, P. Francalacci, M. Baig, L. A. Sechi, R. A. Hartskeerl, N. Ahmed (2010) Genetic Affinities within a Large Global Collection of Pathogenic Leptospira: Implications for Strain Identification and Molecular Epidemiology PLOS ONE 5(8): e12637 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012637
  • M. Pala, A. Achilli, A.Olivieri, B. Hooshiar Kashani, U.A. Perego, D. Sanna, E. Metspalu, K. Tambets, E. Tamm, M. Accetturo, V. Carossa, H. Lancioni, F. Panara, B. Zimmermann, G. Huber, N. Al-Zahery, F. Brisighelli, S. R. Woodward, P. Francalacci, W. Parson, A. Salas, D. M. Behar, R. Villems, O. Semino, H-J. Bandelt, A. Torroni (2009) Mitochondrial Haplogroup U5b3: a Distant Echo of the Epipaleolithic in Italy and the Legacy of the Early Sardinians. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS 86: 814-821
  • D Contu, L Morelli, F Santoni JW. Foster, P.Francalacci, F Cucca (2008) Y-Chromosome Based Evidence for Pre-Neolithic Origin of the Genetically Homogeneous but Diverse Sardinian Population: Inference for Association Scans. PLOS ONE
  • P. Francalacci, D. Sanna (2008) History and Geography of human Y-chromosome in Europe: a SNP perspective. JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 86: 59-89
  • SM.Devi, I.Ahmed, P.Francalacci, MA Hussain, Y Akhter, A Alvi, LA Sechi, F Mégraud, N Ahmed (2007) Ancestral European roots of Helicobacter pylori in India. BMC GENOMICS 8:184
  • D Caramelli, C Vernesi, S Sanna, L Sampietro, M Lari, L Castrì, G Vona, R Floris, P.Francalacci, R Tykot, A Casoli, J Bertranpetit, C Lalueza-Fox, G Bertorelle, G Barbujani (2007) Genetic variation in prehistoric Sardinia. HUMAN GENETICS
  • C.Santos, R.Montiel, N.Angles, M.Lima, P.Francalacci, A.Malgosa, A.Abade, M.P.Aluja (2004) Determination of human Caucasian mitochondrial DNA haplogroups by means of a hierarchical approach. HUMAN BIOLOGY 76: 431-453
  • P.Francalacci, L.Morelli, P.A.Underhill, A.S.Lillie, G.Passarino, A.Useli, R. Madeddu, G.Paoli, S.Tofanelli, C.M.Calò, M.E.Ghiani, L.Varesi, M.Memmi, G.Vona, P.Oefner, P.Shen, L.L.Cavalli-Sforza (2003) The peopling of three Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily) inferred by Y-chromosome biallelic variability. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 121:270-279
  • D.Contu, L.Morelli, P.Zavattari, R.Lampis, E.Angius, Frongia, D.Murru, M.Maioli, P.Francalacci, J.A. Todd, F. Cucca (2002) Sex related bias and exclusion mapping of the non-recombinant portion of chromosome Y in human type 1 diabetes in the isolated founder population of Sardinia. DIABETES 51: 3573-3576
  • A Torroni, HJ Bandelt,V Macaulay, M Richards, F Cruciani, C Rengo, V Martinez-Cabrera, RVillems, T Kivisild, E Metspalu, JR Parik, HV Tolk, K Tambets, P Forster, B Karger, P Francalacci, P Rudan, B Janicijevic, O Rickards, ML Savontaus, K Huoponen, V Laitinen, SKoivumaki, B Sykes, E Hickey, A Novelletto, P Moral, D Sellitto, A Coppa, N Al-Zaheri, AS Santachiara-Benerecetti, O Semino, R Scozzari (2001) A signal, from human mtDNA, of postglacial recolonization in Europe AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS 69 844-852
  • R.Montiel, A.Malgosa, P.Francalacci (2001) Authenticating ancient human mitochondrial DNA. HUMAN BIOLOGY, 73: 689-713
  • O. Semino, G. Passarino, P.J. Oefner, A.A. Lin, S. Arbuzova, L.E. Beckman, G. De Bendictis, P.Francalacci, S. Limborska, A. Kouvatsi, M. Marcikiae, D. Primorac, S. Santachiara-Benerecetti, L.L. Cavalli-Sforza, P.A. Underhill (2000) The genetic legacy of Palaeolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in extant Europeans: a Y-chromosome perspective. SCIENCE 290:1155-1159 (2000)
  • P.A. Underhill, P. Shen, A.A. Lin, L. Jin, G. Passarino, W.H. Yang, E. Kauffman, A. Hurlbut, B. Bonné-Tamir, J. Bertranpetit, P.Francalacci, M. Ibrahim, T. Jenkins, J.R. Kidd, S.Q. Mehdi, M.T. Seielstad, R.S. Wells, A. Piazza, D. Soergel, S. Sherry, M.W. Feldman, R.W. Davis, L.L. Cavalli-Sforza, and P.J. Oefner.(2000) Y Chromosome variation and the History of human populations. NATURE GENETICS 26:358-361
  • L. Morelli, M.G. Grosso, G.Vona, L.Varesi, A.Torroni, P.Francalacci (2000) Frequency distribution of mitochondrial haplogroups in Corsica and Sardinia. HUMAN BIOLOGY, 72: 585-595
  • P.Francalacci, J.Bertranpetit, F.Calafell, P.A.Underhill. (1996) Sequence diversity of the control region of mitochondrial DNA in Tuscany and its implications for the peopling of Europe. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 100: 443-460
  • A.Torroni, K.Huoponen, P.Francalacci, M.Petrozzi, L.Morelli, R.Scozzari, D.Obinu, M.L.Savontaus, D.C.Wallace. (1996). Classification of European mitochondrial DNA from an analysis of 3 European populations. GENETICS, 144: 18

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