About Me

Important note: as of 11/2021 I’m taking a break from academia.

I’m a recently (07/2021) graduated PhD in Cognitive Science and Language. I got my title as part of the Cognitive Biology of Language group, led by Cedric Boeckx (University of Barcelona).

I was trained as a linguist, but always had a strong interest in Biology and Cognitive Science. In my PhD I focused on the evolution of the Homo sapiens cognitive profile relative to other human species (Neanderthals, Denisovans), from genotype to expression data to phenotype.

TwitterGithubGoogle Scholar.

Interests

I’m currently working on ways to use open genomics databases to draw conclusions about cognitive phenotypes from extinct and current humans. The fact that I use public datasets forces me to come up with creative ways to combine and treat data, with an increasing emphasis in reproducibility and open science.

I have a number of tangential interests I haven’t been able to pursue as much as I’d want to yet. These include a liking for Population Genetics, human-specific cognitive disorders and Deep Learning methods.

Apart from the academic stuff, in my free time I like to play bass - mostly jazz.

Publications

Zanella, M., Vitriolo, A., Andirko, A., Martins, P. T., Sturm, S., O’Rourke, T., Laugsch, M., Malerba, N., Skaros, A., Trattaro, S., Germain, P.-L., Mihailovic, M., Merla, G., Rada-Iglesias, A., Boeckx, C., & Testa, G. (2019). Dosage analysis of the 7q11.23 Williams region identifies BAZ1B as a major human gene patterning the modern human face and underlying self-domestication. Science Advances, 5(12).

First author preprints

  1. Andirkó A., Moriano J., Vitriolo A., Kuhlwilm M., Testa G., Boeckx C. (2021). Fine-grained temporal mapping of derived high-frequency variants supports the mosaic nature of the evolution of Homo sapiens. BiorXiv.
  2. Andirkó A., & Boeckx C. (2019). Modern human alleles differentially regulate gene expression in brain tissues: Implications for brain evolution. BiorXiv.

Other preprints

There are several projects where I’ve participated in a more secondary role. These have ranged from language complexity to genetic regulation of bone development. For more details, see my CV.

Blogposts

From time to time I like to write posts about my field, technical tips I use and academic life in general.