Chamorro DNA Research
The Council recently sponsored a presentation by visiting molecular anthropologist, Dr. Miguel Vilar. The title of his presentation was "Researching the Origins and Genetic Distinctiveness of Chamorros: A Bi-parental Analysis." Dr. Vilar used DNA samples to trace the maternal and paternal histories of a sample of the Chamorro population. Over 120 people attended this presentation which was a part of the Council's "Community Lecture Series".
Dr. Vilar currently serves as the Project Manager for National Geographic's Genographic Project. His fieldwork has taken him to places throughout the Pacific region, East Africa, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean. The Genographic Project is an ambitious attempt to answer fundamental questions about where we came from and how we came to populate the Earth.
Given the public interest in this topic, the Council has provided links to some resources relating to Dr. Vilar's recent presentation. These include:
- Dr. Vilar's radio interview on "Your Humanities Half-hour".
- A copy of Dr. Vilar's PowerPoint presentation.
- A copy of a journal article that summarizes Dr. Vilar's DNA findings relating to the Chamorro people.
Dr. Vilar is currently exploring the feasibility of doing follow-up work on Saipan, Tinian and Rota in order to further refine his research.