World's leading DNA Scientist and Adventurer
Eske Willerslev is a professor and Director of University of Copenhagen’s Centre of Excellence GeoGenetics, member of The Adventurers’ Club, and arguably one of the most famous living scientists in the world. He has lived as a fur trapper in Siberia, led expeditions to the far reaches of the world, and been adopted into the Native American Crow-tribe as "Well-Known Wolf".

He has been widely featured in movies, TV-series and articles and awarded numerous awards focusing on his unique ability to convey comprehensive scientific learnings in an entertaining, accesible, and relatable way. Building upon his personal experiences and anecdotes from a lifetime of front-line science his keynotes holds the audience captivated and thoroughly entertained while leaving them wiser on Man's history and the world surrounding us. Eske Willerslev has not only changed the way we conduct science, but also Man's history itself - and his keynotes concerning this are nothing less than spellbinding.

Keynote speaker Eske Willerslev is the world's leading DNA-expert


From Fur Trapper to Professor

This keynote not only brings Eske Willerslevs past with a dominant father, a somewhat criminal time as a teen, and a deep fascination of Native Americans to life. He brings all our pasts to life with the story of how DNA scientists of the past hunted, discovered, and described DNA. This ultimately enabled Eske Willerslev to rewrite the history of how our ancestors emigrated from Africa to colonize the entire globe.

In his hunt efter ground breaking evidence in his research of Man’s unknown past he has been adopted into a Native American tribe, almost died as a fur trapper in Siberia, and searched for genes in what was supposedly an extra terrestial being. Experience a keynote with both entertaining and breath taking stories as well as fascinating science.

Where do we originate from?

How much do we humans really know about where we originate from? Eske Willerslev examines this in this thrilling keynote where he quite literally looks at DNA in everything from ancient bones to ice cores – something he is the best in the World at. Through this the audience are presented with a string of new knowledge based on his research, which had led to history books being rewritten in recent years and answered questions such as:

– Why did the mammoths go extinct?
– Who were the first people in America?
– Where do we originate from?

Not only has Eske Willerslev’s science rewritten Man’s history in both Australia, USA and Greenland, which in itself is fascinating. He also brings this new knowledge to life through entertaining anecdotes and captivating stories, which keeps participants spellbound.

From complicated to understandable

Eske Willerslev has been recognized repeatedly with awards for his unique ability to convey complex science, research, and knowledge in a compelling and accessible way to the general public. Time and time again he has succeeded in setting the global agenda through his research to a degree, which has led him to continously being approached and asked to participate in movies, TV-series and articles all over the world whenever the topic revolves around the history of Man as well as the history of the world around us.

In this keynote you will get an insight into how the complicated can be made accessible. It is an issue not only for scientists but also companies and organizations each and every day. Improve at extracting the essence of your work and through that accomplishing greater successes all the while being royally entertained as tales from both the prairie and the permantly frozen tundra are unveiled.



Eske Willerslev is a world famous DNA scientist, professor and Director of University of Copenhagen’s Section for Geogenetics. He is a member of The Adventurers’ Club and has led expeditions to amongst others Siberia and Greenland as well as lived as both a fur trapper and a native indian. He has held a number of prestigious professorships and been awarded numerous awards, including the coveted Danish "Rosenkjær Award" given to individuals who excel at communicating a difficult subject to the Danish public and the "Genius Award" from Danish Science Journalists for “an impressive array of research successes in the public eye, combined with a unique tour-de-force through university”. He is one of the few scientists that has succeeded in approaching and being accepted by several of the World’s indigenous peoples - even leading to the adoption into the Native American Crow-tribe under the name of ChiitdeeXia’ssee or “Well-Known Wolf“.

His research spans wide and encompasses multiple disciplines, which is necessary to uncover the complex area that is the origin of man and its history including the migrations of our ancestors. If one had to highlight some of Eske Willerslev’s numerous scientific achievements, the foundation of Ice Core Genetics and the ground breaking discovery of deep DNA drilling has to be mentioned as discoveries that shook the scientific community and changed the way research is conducted.

Eske Willerslev is regularly used in media across the world when expert knowledge is required regarding human evolution, human migration and science’s role in society. Together with his colleagues at University of Cambridge and University of Copenhagen he has appeared in movies such as “First Peoples”, “The Great Human Odyssey”, “Code Breakers”, “Search for the Head of John the Baptist", and “How to Build an Ancient man” aired on National Geographic and networks. He has also been portrayed in several large publications such as New York Times cover "Eske Willerslev Is Rewriting History With DNA". He is an extremely popular and coveted keynote speaker, who is renowned for conveying complex science in an accessible and entertaining fashion and is undeniably one of Denmark’s most popular keynote speakers.

He has written or starred in 3 bestselling books (all in Danish) focusing on both his intriguing life-story, the groundbreaking science, and the more philosophical side regarding the universal balance between science and the more mysterious side of our existence.

In “From Fur Trapper to Professor – a personal journey through the DNA mysteries of the past” we’re invited into his captivating story. As a young boy Eske Willerslev dreamt of being a Native American and ever since he has persistently pursued and embraced adventure. This led him to Siberia where he lived as a Fur Trapper in Siberia. When he became a scientist he continued this adventurous path by living under the Greenlandic ice sheet, sailing the Russian rivers, and roaming the American Prairie. Combined with his lab Eske Willerslev’s domain is the world that surround us as he continues to deliver breakthroughs in DNA-science and shed new light on the history of our flora, fauna, and mankind through discoveries from excavations, ice cores and caves.

The conversational book “The Story of Everything – tales of magic and science” takes place over the course of four years and touches upon everything from genes and human history to spirits, myths, and magic. A key point from Eske Willerslev is that he doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but he openly shares all the he doesn’t know including several unexplainable experiences and shows that even in a scientist’s life everything isn’t black and white.

As a scientist he continuously hunts for the truth about our past. In “Eske Willerslev – he brings the dead to life” we visit his childhood to relive the past of the petty criminal teen, who wanted to make his tough father proud and ended up being a professor by always going against the tide driven by a need to be first and win – and the hardships he had to suffer to reach his goal. All leading him to amongst others being adopted into a Native American tribe, having a close brush with death as a fur trapper in Siberia, and examining a presumed alien for genes.

As mentioned Eske Willerslev is one of the few who can boast of having a Native American name. He has been accepted into the Montana based Apsaalooke Crow tribe with the official name of ChiitdeeXia’ssee, which can be translated into Well-Known Wolf or Well-known Scout. The initiation into the tribe, which one is officially adopted into, was the culmination of a long research process where Eske Willerslev would have to convince the sceptical Native Americans to undergo DNA testing, where he amongst others would have to gain the approval of the Legendary Chief Sitting Bull’s spirit. Following this Eske embraced the Native American views and backed their claims in reburying a 12.600 year-old skeleton, which he determined was the forefather of 80% of all Native Americans. This created quite an upset within the scientific community, as they wanted the skeleton extradited for research.

On the occassion of Eske Willerslev being given his Native American name the Danish newspaper Berlingske did a cover on the story behind both the research and the meaning of his name: "For Crow-indianerne er han Well-Known Wolf". Berlingske also did a story about how he experienced being approved by the spirit of Sitting Bull: "Den troende professor". Both are in Danish but fairly understandable using Google Translate.

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