Dongya Yang

Associate Dean

Dongya Yang obtained his BSc in biology, MSc in biological anthropology and Ph.D. in biological anthropology (ancient DNA) before he joined SFU in 2000 as a faculty member in the Department of Archaeology. He has since focused his research on the retrieval and analysis of DNA from ancient human, faunal and oral remains for archaeological studies. With a dedicated ancient DNA lab facility made available at SFU, and through close collaborations over the past 15 years with many colleagues from Canada and overseas, he and his graduate students have conducted a great number of projects analyzing ancient DNA from over 50 different species.

While he continues to work on optimizing lab techniques for more efficient ancient DNA analysis, he has become more focused on using ancient DNA data to reconstruct population fluctuations of non-human species for a better understanding of dual interactions between humans and other species over time. While his lab group has been working on ancient remains from all over the world, his own geographic research regions have gradually focused on the Northwest Coast of North America and China. With the support from a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, he has helped create the SFU-JLU Joint Centre for Bioarchaeological Research (JCBR) to facilitate collaborative research between SFU in Canada and JLU in China.