Drew Kitchen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

(319) 335-0522


Kitchen graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. He then obtained an M.Sc. (Biology) from the University of Oxford (Hertford College) in 2003, before getting both an M.A. (2004) and a Ph.D. (2008) in Anthropology from the University of Florida. Before joining the University of Iowa in 2012 as an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology department, he was a postdoc in Eddie Holmes’ lab in the Center of Infectious Disease Dynamics at the Pennsylvania State University.

Research Interest(s)

Dr. Kitchen is interested in the evolutionary history of modern humans, including the evolution of human pathogens and parasites. He uses both human and pathogen genetic data to investigate the historical population dynamics of humans, including behaviors and shifts in human ecology that lead to the emergence of novel pathogens. His current research is focused on the molecular evolution of pathogens (primarily viruses and bacteria), including macroevolutionary patterns of pathogen emergence and divergence, and investigating the dynamics of human populations using both contemporary and ancient DNA data.

Kitchen's research involves the application of population genetic (i.e. coalescent) and phylogenetic analyses to human and pathogen genetic data, as well as substantial modeling and simulation. Though his work is primarily computational and analytical in nature, he is interested in exploring how complementary lines of evidence (e.g., geographic, climatic, epidemiological or archaeological data) may be best incorporated into molecular evolutionary studies. Critically, his broad interest in molecular evolution has led to the development of collaborations studying the evolution of a wide range of animals and pathogens.

Selected Publications

Holt K, Baker S, Weill F-X, Holmes EC, Kitchen A, Yu J, Sangal V, Brown DJ, Coia JE, Kim DW, Choi SY, Kim SH, da Silveira WD, Pickard DJ, Farrar JJ, Parkhill J, Dougan G, Thomson NR. (2012) Shigella sonnei genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis indicate recent global dissemination from Europe. Nature Genetics 44:1056-1059.

Kitchen A, Shackelton LA, Holmes EC. (2011) Family level phylogenies reveal modes of macroevolution in RNA viruses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U S A 108:238-243.

Toups MA, Kitchen A, Light JE, Reed DL. (2011) Origin of clothing lice indicates early clothing use by anatomically modern humans. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28:29-32.

Firth C, Kitchen A, Shapiro B, Suchard MA, Holmes EC, Rambaut A. (2010) Using time-structured data to estimate evolutionary rates of double-stranded DNA viruses. Molecular Biology and Evolution 27:2038-2051.

Carpi G, Holmes EC, Kitchen A. (2010) The evolutionary dynamics of Bluetongue virus. Journal of Molecular Evolution 70:583-592.

Jones A, Lowry K, Aaskov J, Holmes EC, Kitchen A. (2010) Molecular evolutionary dynamics of Ross River virus and implications for vaccine efficacy. Journal of General Virology 91:182-188.

Kitchen A, Ehret C, Addefa A, Mulligan CJ (2009) Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages identifies an Early Bronze Age origin of Semitic in the Near East. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 276:2703-2710.

Mulligan CJ, Kitchen A, Miyamoto MM. (2008) Updated three-stage model for the Peopling of the Americas. PLoS ONE 3:e3199.

Kitchen A, Miyamoto MM, Mulligan CJ. (2008) A three-stage colonization model for the peopling of the Americas. PLoS ONE 3:e1596.

Kitchen A, Miyamoto MM, Mulligan CJ. (2008) Utility of DNA viruses for studying human host history: Case study of JC virus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46:673-682.