SO 1.1 – Refining times and places of cat dispersal in the Mediterranean.
By analysing full mtDNA genomes in the spatiotemporal transect of the ancient cats available, FELIX will:
1) evaluate with higher resolution the times of dispersal of cats from the Near East during the Neolithic and from Egypt during Classical Antiquity (or earlier).
2) shed further light on the spatial and temporal range of dispersal of the Asian wildcat lineage, which may be used as bio-proxy to track long-range routes of trade and connectivity in the Eurasian and African continent.
SO 1.2 – The genomic make-up of domestic cats.
By analysing nuclear genome data, FELIX will seek to define the temporal framework of admixture and selection events, in particular:
1) ancient admixture between domestic and wildcat populations (e.g. F. s. lybica and F. s. silvestris, or domestic cats and F. s. ornata).
2) times and places of selection of behavioural traits (e.g. docility) and physical traits (coat pattern and colour, fur length).