Principal Investigator

Joseph Orkin

Assistant Professor (Professeur Adjoint)
Département d’anthropologie
Université de Montréal

Molecular anthropology

We use molecular tools–genomics, metagenomics, and proteomics–to answer anthropological questions.


Primate adaptation to changing and hostile environments
Population genomics of free-ranging primates
Primate gut microbial ecology

Development of new methods for non-invasive molecular ecology
Scat detection dogs

Anthropology of fermented foods
Microbial ecology of food fermentation
Biocultural interaction of humans and the foods we produce

Public Media

Representative Publications

Palmada-Flores M1, Orkin JD1, Haase B, Mountcastle J, [4 others], Marques-Bonet T. 2022.  A high-quality, long-read genome assembly of the endangered ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), GigaScience, 11:giac026

Orkin JD, Montague MJ, Tejada-Martinez D, de Manuel M, [18 others], Melin AD. 2021. The genomics of ecological flexibility, large brains, and long lives in capuchin monkeys revealed with fecalFACS. PNAS. 118(7): e2010632118.

Orkin JD1, Kuderna LFK1, Marques-Bonet T. 2021. The diversity of primates: from biomedicine to conservation genomics. Annual Reviews of Animal Biosciences. 9: 103-124.

Flachs A and Orkin JD. 2021. On pickles: Biological and sociocultural links between fermented foods and the human gut microbiome. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 17 (39).

Orkin JD, Campos FA, Myers MS, Cheves Hernandez SE, Guadumez A, Melin AD. 2019. Seasonality of the gut microbiota of free ranging white-faced capuchins in a tropical dry forest. The ISME Journal. 13: 183-196.

Orkin JD1, Webb SE1, Melin AD. 2019. Modest to small impact of social group on the gut microbiome of wild Costa Rican capuchins in a seasonal forest. American Journal of Primatology. e22985.

Orkin JD, Yang YM, Yang CY, Yu DW, Jiang XL. 2016. Cost-effective scat-detection dogs: unleashing a powerful new tool for international mammalian conservation biology. Scientific Reports. 6(34758): 1-10.

Orkin JD and Pontzer H. 2011. The narrow niche hypothesis: gray squirrels shed new light on primate origins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 144: 617-624.