New Zealand was the end of the line for human migration.
Migration from Africa began about 60,000 years ago but people took their time to reach New Zealand arriving only 750 years ago.
So researchers have turned to the kiore, or Pacific rat (rattus exulans) for clues about migratory patterns throughout the Pacific.
Unfortunately, scientists have a poor reputation for engaging respectfully with indigenous populations with reports of bones and even bodies being stolen as samples.
But now the emphasis of research is changing, to ensure research is relevant and respectful, as well as useful. So research on marrying your first cousin, for example, is done in a way that isn't distressing to the subjects.
In this Gene Genie lecture, BBC 4 science presenter and geneticist Adam Rutherford chairs a discussion on how DNA has informed ancestry, anthropology, people’s migration and how that relates to health and wellbeing.
- Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith: Biological Anthropology at the University of Otago
- Professor Stephen Robertson: Department of Women's and Children's Health; Clinical Genetics Group; Chair of Child Health Research at the University of Otago
- Professor Hamish Spencer: Department of Zoology and Director of the Allan Wilson centre, at the University of Otago
This audio was recorded at the Tauranga Yacht Club on 21 March 2016.