Maria Cristina Martinez Labarga


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Maria Cristina Martinez Labarga
Department of Biology
Tel: +39 067259 4348/4334/4819
Fax: +39 062023500



Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum


Researcher, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, Departmental Centre of Molecular Anthropology for ancient DNA studies, Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.


2014: National Scientific Qualification (Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) as Associate Professor of -Zoology and Anthropology (area 05/B1).


  • 1987: Degree in Biological Sciences, University Complutense of Madrid.
  • 1993: D. degree in Human Evolution, University Complutense of Madrid, Spain, with a. Thesis: “Estructura genética de dos comunidades afro-americanas de Ecuador”. Mark: Apto cum laude by unanimity”
  • 1996: D. degree in Evolutionary Biology, University of Bologna and University “La Sapienza” of Rome, with a Thesis: “Variabilità genetica a livello del DNA mitocondriale nei Cayapa dell’Ecuador e confronto con altre popolazioni indiane americane”.
  • 2006: Aggregated Professor in Anthropology (BIO/08) University of Rome “Tor Vergata”


  • 1994: Award for Doctoral Thesis, Fundación Caja Madrid (Madrid, Spain)
  • 1989: “Collaboration” grant of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science at the Section of Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, University Complutense of Madrid.
  • 1989 –1990 ERASMUS Grant for University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • 1993-1995, Research Fellow C.E.E. Grant – “Human Capital and Mobility” program, n. contract: ERBCHBICT920251. “Genetic diversity of the mitochondrial genome in some native populations of Ecuador”. Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata.
  • 1996-1997, 1997-98 post-doc research fellows CNR on ancient DNA studies.
  • Since 2001: Researcher, Assistant Professor in Anthropology (BIIO/08), Department of Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.
  • Febrary 2004: Servizio di Biologia del Departamento de Madrid del Istituto Nacional de Toxicologia del Ministerio de Justicia, Madrid (Spain).
  • 2003-2007: Participation at the project “Investigación científica sobre la identificación genética los restos exhumados de Cristóbal Colon y sus familiares “, University of Granada, P.I. Prof. J.A. Lorente. Granada (Spain)
  • April 2011: Laboratory CGC/Genetics di Madrid, (Spain) directed by Dr. M. Orera to study obesity genetic markers.


Research Activity


mtDNA, Y-chromosome and autosomal polymorphisms in order to analyse the human genetic variability and to explore the evolutionary history of populations living in various geographical areas (America, Africa and the Mediterranean region).

Molecular archaeo-anthropology: aDNA analysis from historical and archaeological specimens from Italy, North Africa and South America to reconstruct genetic history and migrations of ancient populations.

Biological identification and analysis of Archaeological (prehistoric, roman and medieval populations) and Forensic human osteological remains.

The study of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope from the collagen of the skeletal remains from a past population to reconstruct the subsistence patterns.

Analysed of oxygen and strontium stable isotope from the tooth enamel to study the mobility of ancient people.

Her scientific activity is documented by a total of 120 papers in extenso  (71 peer-reviewed on international ISI journals, 45 chapters of scientific books) and 173 posters and/or communications in National and international Scientific congress.

The results of some studies have been subject of comments and articles on various international and national newspapers.


Many international and national collaboration as testified by the author lines of publications.

National and international grants (as principal investigator)

  • PRIN MIUR 2015 (36 months) “Diseases, health and lifestyles in Rome: from the Empire to the Early Middle Age”. N.: 2015PJ7H3K_003. 69.000 Euro. P.I. MARTINEZ-LABARGA National coordinator: V. Gazzaniga.
  • Qatar National Research Foundation grant (4 years): “Human Populations and Demographics in Qatar from the Neolithic to the late Iron Age”. N: NPRP10-0208-170411, $633,757.00. (02/2018 – 02/2022). P.I. MARTINEZ-LABARGA, Lead Investigator: Dr. Sara Tomei
  • Grant of the European Economic Community programme “Human Capital and Mobility” 1992 (2 years) Proposal ERB4001GT921357 “Genetic diversity of the mitochondrial genoma in some native populations of Ecuador”. 98,951 ECU., I. MARTINEZ-LABARGA, Scientific leader: Olga RICKARDS.

Participation at other research projects (last 10 years):

  • 2012- at present: “Analisi molecolare del tipo di dieta e caratterizzazione genetica dei campioni osteologici umani prelevati dal sito archeologico dell’area Megalitica di Saint-Martin-de-Corléans, nel comune d’Aosta” (PI O. Rickards)
  • PRIN MIUR 2010-11 Biological and cultural heritage of the central-southern Italian population trough 30 thousand Years EPIC (Eredità della Popolazione dell’Italia Centro-meridionale) PI O. Rickards (264.585 euro) participant with 4.2 months.
  • PRIN MIUR 2008 Origin and diffusion of farming in central-southern Italy: a molecular approach. PI O. Rickards (126,429 euro). participant with 12 months.
  • PRIN 2005 Dietary variability and genetic origins of ancient human populations: a combined ancient biomolecular approach. PI O. Rickards (128,600 euro). Participant 20 months.


  • 2004-at present: Member of the Editorial board of the Annals of Human Biology (Taylor & Francis – Health Sciences).
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of Revista Española de Antropologia Biologica (1998-99) and the on-line journal Antropo (2010-at present).
  • Reviewer for several international and national scientific journals: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Human Genetics, European Journal of Human Genetics, BioMED, Journal of Archaeological Sciences, Journal Anthropological Science, Quaternary International, Scienze dell’Antichità.
  • Reviewer of MIUR (Italian Ministry for the Universities) for PRIN, SIR and FIRB projects.


Scientific curator of several national exhibitions covering the important topic of human evolution Partner and promoter for the organization of several seminars and workshop on molecular anthropology and forensic identification.

Multiple academic and divulgation lectures, conferences and seminars.


Member of several international and national scientific associations.

INVITED SPEAKER in various national and international courses/schools/conferences.

National and international acknowledgments

  • 1994, prize for the “Tesis Doctoral” Banca Caja de Madrid (Spain).


  • A total of 61 publications on international ISI journals.
  • Orcid ID: 0000-0003-0439-0379
  • ResearcherID K-6011-2014
  • Scopus Author ID: 6602423556
  • Scopus H-Index = 18 (about 1404 citations);
  • Google Scholar H-Index = 22 (about 2214 citations).


Selected Publications

Kemp B.M., Malhi, R.S., McDonough, J., Bolnick, D.A., Eshleman, J.A., Rickards, O., Martínez-Labarga, C., Johnson, J.R., Lorenz, J.G., Dixon, E.J., Fifield, T.E., Heaton, T.H., Worl, R., Smith, D.G. (2007) Genetic analysis of early Holocene skeletal remains from Alaska and its implication for the settlement of the Americas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol.  132: 605-621.

Martínez-Labarga, C., Lelli, R., Tarsi, T., Babalini, C, De Angelis, F., Ottoni, C., Giambra, V., Pepe, G., Azzebi, E., Frezza, D., Biondi, G., Rickards, O. (2007) Polymorphisms of the COL1A2, CYP1A1 and HS1,2 Ig enhancer genes in the Tuaregs from Libya. Annals of Human Biology,  vol. 34:425-436.

Tamm, E., Kivisild, T., Reidla, M., Metspalu, M., Glenn Smith, D., Mulligan, C.J., Bravi, C.M., Rickards, O., Martinez-Labarga, C., Khusnutdinova, E.K., Fedorova, S.A., Golubenko, M.V., Stepanov, V.A., Gubina, M.A., Zhadanov, S.I., Ossipova, L.P., Damba, L., Voevoda, M.I., Dipierri, J.E., Villems, R., Malhi, R.S. (2007) Beringian Standstill and Spread of Native American Founders. Plos ONE 2(9): e829. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000829

Giardina, E., Pietrangeli, I., Martínez-Labarga, C., Martone, C., de Angelis, F., Spinella, A., De Stefano, G., Rickards, O., Novelli, G. (2008). Haplotypes in SLC24A5 Gene as ancestry informative markers in different populations. Current Genomics, vol. 9: 110-114.

Craig, O.E., Biazzo, M., O’Connell, T.C., Garnsey, P., Martínez-Labarga, C., Lelli, R., Salvadei, L., Tartaglia, G., Nava, A., Renò, L., Fiammenghi, A., Rickards, O., Bondioli, L. (2009) Stable Isotopic Evidence for Diet at the Imperial Roman Coastal Site of Velia (1st and 2nd centuries AD) in Southern Italy. American Journal Physical Anthropology, vol. 139:572-83.

Ottoni C, Martínez-Labarga C, Loogväli EL, Pennarun E, Achilli A, De Angelis F, Trucchi E, Contini I, Biondi G, Rickards O. (2009) First genetic insight into Libyan Tuaregs: a maternal perspective. Annals of Human Genetics, vol. 73: 438-48.

Ottoni, C., Martínez-Labarga, C., Vitelli, L., Scano, G., Fabrini, E., Contini, I., Biondi, G., Rickards, O. (2009) Human mitochondrial DNA variability in Southern Italy. Annals of Human Biology, vol. 36: 1-27

Messina, F., Scorrano, G., Martínez Labarga, C., Rolfo, M.F., Rickards, O. (2010) Mitochondrial DNA variation in an isolated area of Central Italy.  Annals of Human Biology, vol. 37:385-402.

Craig, O.E., Biazzo, M., Colonese, A.C., Di Giuseppe, Z., Martinez-Labarga, C., Lo Vetro, D., Lelli, R., Martini, F., Rickards, O. (2010) Stable isotope analysis of Late Upper Palaeolithic human and faunal remains from Grotta del Romito (Cosenza), Italy. Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 37: 2504-2512.

Ottoni C, Primativo, G., Hooshiar Kashani, B., Achilli A., Martínez-Labarga C, Biondi, G., Torroni, A., Rickards O. (2010) Mitochondrial Haplogroup H1 in North Africa: An Early Holocene Arrival from Iberia. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13378. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013378.

Ottoni, C., Larmuseau, M.H.D., Vanderheyden, M., Martinez-Labarga, C., Primativo, G., Biondi, G., Decorte, R., Rickards, O. (2011) Deep Into the Roots of the Libyan Tuareg: A Genetic Survey of Their Paternal Heritage. American Journal Physical Anthropology, vol. 145: 118-24. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21473.

Martínez-González, .L.J., Martínez-Espín, E., Alvarez, J.C., Albardaner, F., Rickards O, Martínez-Labarga, C., Calafell, F., Lorente, J.A.(2012) Surname and Y chromosome in Southern Europe: a case study with Colom/Colombo. European Journal of Human Genetics. vol. 20: 211-216, ISSN: 1018-4813, doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.162

Lelli, R., Allen, R., Biondi, G., Calattini, M., Conati Barbaro, C., Gorgoglione, M.A., Manfredini, A., Martínez-Labarga, C., Radina, F., Silvestrini, M., Tozzi, C., Rickards, O., Craig, O.E. (2012) Examining dietary variability of the earliest farmers of south-eastern Italy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology , vol. 149: 380-390, ISSN: 0002-9483.

Gasbarrini, G., Rickards, O., Martínez-Labarga, C., Pacciani, E., Chilleri, F., Laterza, L., Marangi, G., Scaldaferri, F., Gasbarrini, A. (2012) Origin of celiac disease: How old are predisposing haplotypes? World Journal Gastroenterology; vol. 18: 5300-4. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i37.5300.

Ciaffi, R. Lelli, R. Müldner, G. Stantcheva, K Fischetti, AL, Ghini, G., Craig O. E., Milano,F., Rickards, O.,  Arcudi, G., Martínez-Labarga C. (2015) Palaeobiology of the Medieval Population of Albano (Rome, Italy): A Combined Morphological and Biomolecular Approach. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, vol. 25: 477–488.  DOI: 10.1002/oa.2316

Scorrano, G., Brilli, M., Martínez-Labarga C., Giustini, F., Pacciani, E., Chilleri, F., Scaldaferri, F., Gasbarrini, A., Gasbarrini, G., Rickards, O. (2014) Paleodiet reconstruction in a woman with probable celiac disease: a stable isotope analysis of bone remains from the archaeological site of Cosa (Italy). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 154: 349-56. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22517.

Scorrano G, Valentini F, Martínez-Labarga C, Rolfo MF, Fiammenghi A, Lo Vetro D, Martini F, Casoli A, Ferraris G, Palleschi G, Palleschi A, Rickards O. (2015) Methodological strategies to assess the degree of bone preservation for ancient DNA studies. Annals of Human Biology, vol. 42: 10-9. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2014.954614.

Messina F,  Finocchio, A.  Rolfo, M.F.  De Angelis, F,  Rapone, C.,  Coletta, M,  Martínez-Labarga, C.,  Biondi, G.,  Berti, A.,  Rickards, O (2015). Traces of forgotten historical events in mountain communities in Central Italy: A genetic insight. American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 27: 508-519. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22677

Stasolla, F.R. Del Ferro, S. Baldoni, M., Martinez-Labarga C. (2015) Aree Funerarie a Leopoli-Cencelle: riflessioni sui primi dati. Scienze dell’Antichità vol. 21: 269-298.

Larmuseau MH1, Vessi A, Jobling MA, Van Geystelen A, Primativo G, Biondi G, Martínez-Labarga C, Ottoni C, Decorte R, Rickards O. (2015) The Paternal Landscape along the Bight of Benin – Testing Regional Representativeness of West-African Population Samples Using Y-Chromosomal Markers. PLoS One. 10(11):e0141510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141510.

Scorrano, G., Lelli R., Martínez-Labarga, C., Scano, G., Contini, I.,  Hafez, H.S., Rudan, P., Rickards, O. (2016) Variability and distribution of COL1A2 (type I collagen) polymorphisms in the central-eastern Mediterranean Basin. Annals of Human Biology vol. 43:73-7. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2015.1006679.

Gismondi, A., Di Marco, G., Martini, F., Sarti, L., Crespan, M., Martinez-Labarga, C., Rickards, O.,  Canini, A. (2016) Vitis vinifera L. carpological remains revealed the existence of a Neolithic domesticated grapevine specimen containing an ancient germplasm partially preserved in current ecotypes. Journal Archaeological Science, vol. 69: 75-84.

Varano, S., Scorrano, G., Martínez-Labarga, C., Finocchio, A., Rapone, C., Berti, A., Rickards, O. (2016) Exploring the mitochondrial DNA variability of an Amazonian population: the Yanomami. American Journal of Human Biology, vol. 28: 846-856.

Baldoni, M., Nardi, A., Muldner, G., Lelli, R., Gnes, M., Ferraresi, F., Meloni, V., Cerino, P., Greco, S., Manenti, G., Angle, M., Rickards, O., Martínez-Labarga, C. (2016). Archaeo-biological reconstruction of the Italian medieval population of Colonna (8th-10th centuries CE). Journal Archaeological Science: reports, vol. 10, 483-494.

Martinez-Gonzalez LJ, Alvarez-Cubero MJ, Saiz M, Alvarez JC, Martinez-Labarga C, Lorente JA (2016) Characterisation of genetic structure of the Mayan population in Guatemala by autosomal STR analysis. Annals of Human Biology, vol. 43:457-68. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2015.1069891.

Messina F, Scano G, Contini I, Martínez-Labarga C, De Stefano GF, Rickards O. (2017) Linking between genetic structure and geographical distance: study of the maternal gene pool in the Ethiopian population. Annals of Human Biology vol. 44: 53-69. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2016.1155646

Primativo G, Ottoni C, Biondi G, Serafino S, Martínez-Labarga C, Larmuseau MH, Scardi M, Decorte R, Rickards O. (2017). Bight of Benin: a Maternal Perspective of Four Beninese Populations and their Genetic Implications on the American Populations of African Ancestry. Annals of Human Genetics, vol. 81:78-90. doi: 10.1111/ahg.12186.

Palomo-Díez S, Esparza-Arroyo A, Gomes C, Rickards O, Velasco-Vázquez J, López-Parra AM, Baeza Richer C, Martínez-Labarga C, Arroyo-Pardo E. (2017) Genetic characterization and determination of the number of individuals by molecular analysis in a prehistoric finding. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol 6: e487-e489. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigss.2017.09.187

Palomo-Díez S, Martínez-Labarga C, Gomes C, Esparza-Arroyo A, Rickards O, Arroyo-Pardo E. (2017). Comparison of two different DNA extraction methodologies for critical bone or teeth samples. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series. vol 6: e359-e361. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigss.2017.09.110

Palomo-Díez S, Gomes C, Martínez-Labarga C, Lelli R, Rickards O, Velasco-Vázquez J, Esparza-Arroyo A, Arroyo-Pardo E (2017). Sex molecular diagnosis on critical samples: Comparison of different methodologies. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, vol 6: e385-e387. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigss.2017.09.168

Scorrano G, Finocchio A, De Angelis F, Martínez-Labarga C, , Šarac J, Contini I, Scano G., Frezza D, Novokmet N., Rickards, O. (2017). The Genetic Landscape of Serbian Populations through Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing and Non-Recombining Region of the Y Chromosome Microsatellites. Collegum Antropologicum, vol 41: 275-296.

Gnes M., Baldoni M., Marchetti L., Basoli F., Leonardi D., Canini A.,  Licoccia S., Enei F., Rickards O., Martínez-Labarga C. (2018) Bioarchaeological approach to the study of the medieval population of Santa Severa (Rome, 7th–15th centuries). Journal Archaeological Science: reports vol. 18: 11-25. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.12.043

De Angelis, F., Scorrrano, G., Martínez-Labarga C, Scano, G., Macciardi, F., Rickards, O. (2018). Mitochondrial variability in the Mediterranean area: a complex stage for human migrations. Annals of Human Biology, vol. 45: 5-19. doi: 10.1080/03014460.2017.1416172

Scorrano, G., Baldoni, M., Brilli, M., Rolfo, M.F., Fornaciari, G., Rickards, O., Martínez-Labarga, C. (2018). Effect of Neolithic transition on an Italian community: Mora Cavorso (Jenne, Rome). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

Gismondi, A., D’Agostino, A., Canuti, L., Di Marco, G., Martínez-Labarga, C., Angle, M., Rickards, O., Canini, C. (2018) Dental calculus reveals diet habits and medicinal plant use in the Early Medieval Italian population of Colonna. Journal Archaeological Science: reports vol. 20: 556–564.

Alvarez-Cubero, MJ., Santiago, O., Martínez-Labarga, C., Martínez-García, B., Marrero- Díaz, R., Rubio-Roldan, A., Pérez-Gutiérrez, AM., Carmona-Saez, P., Lorente, JA., Martinez-Gonzalez, LJ. (2018). METHODOLOGY FOR Y CHROMOSOME CAPTURE AND ANALYSIS: A complete genome sequence of Y chromosome using Flow Cytometry Capture, Laser Capture Microdissection and Magnetic Streptavidin-Bead Capture. Scientific Reports 8(1):9436. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27819-x.


Teaching – link to Didattica web


  • 2002-present: University of Rome “Tor Vergata”:

Forensic Anthropology, Primates: adaptation and evolution, Human evolution and Ecology, Forensic Genetic for Master Course of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Applied Anthropology.

  • 2000–2004, 2008-2009: University of “La Tuscia” Viterbo. Courses of Anthropology for Biological Sciences and Cultural heritage
  • 1998–2000: University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain. Courses of Anthropology, and Human Ecology for Biological sciences and Environmental Sciences.

Lessons at several national and international Master, Summer Schools and specialist courses. The more relevant:

  • “Fossil Proteins and DNA” in the Intensive Course in Biological Anthropology, Summer school, Charles University in Prague and the EAA (European Anthropological Association (June 2007). “Corso di preparazione all’Antropologia Molecolare e Forense” University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (40 hours, March – April 2015).
  • “Genética de las Poblaciones Humanas: Análisis de ADN antiguo” in the Máster “Antropología física: Evolución y Biodiversidad Humana” Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Universidad de Alcala & Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2009/10 – 2011/12).
  • “Ancient biomolecules and the peopling of Europe” in the Genetica forense course. Erasmus Teaching Staff Mobility, Máster in Biological Anthropology ’Universidad de Barcelona & Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (anno accademico 2012/13-2017/18).
  • Master di secondo livello “Genetica Forense” University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (from 2008).
  • Master di secondo livello “Professione formatore in didattica delle scienze -Training for Trainer in Science Teaching” University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (from 2017-2018).
  • Corso di Alta Formazione “Nuove tecnologie applicate alla bioarcheologia. Ricostruzione degli stili di vita nella Roma antica” Sapienza Università di Roma (2017/18)


2007-present: Member of the PhD programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”).

2000-2002: Member of the PhD inter-university programme of “Biologia Evolutiva y Biodiversidad” Univeristy of Alcala (Madrid) and University Autonoma of Madrid (Spain).  In this PhD program Course of “Evolucion molecular: aplicaciones y herramientas en biologia animal” (30 hours, 2001-2002), and Course of “Antropologia molecular” (30 hours, 2000-2001)


Supervisor of three PhD degree Thesis.

In the last 5 years, supervisor of a multiple master thesis in Biological Sciences.


  • 2016, 2017 e 2018 (XXVIII, XXIX & XXX cycles) member of final examination Ph D in programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”).
  • September 2003, June 2008, June 2011 member of final examination Ph D at University of Granada (Spain).
  • September 2015 and September 2017 member of final examination Ph D at Univeristy Complutense of Madrid (Spain).
  • Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
  • May 2015 member of final examination Ph D at University Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain)