Jorune Sakalauskaite


Jorune is a biomolecular scientist studying modern and ancient mollusc shell proteins with an interest in retrieving taxonomic information from archaeological shell samples. She has a background in Chemistry, with BAs from University of Vilnius (Lithuania) and MCs in Spectroscopy from Universities of Helsinki (Finland) & Lille (France). Jorune carried out her PhD project in biological sciences and applied biotechnologies to study proteomic approaches applied to archaeological mollusc shells in the ancient protein lab of University of Turin (Italy) and equally in biomineralization lab based in CNRS Biogéosciences unit in University of Burgundy (France). Since 2021, she has moved to Copenhagen where she is part of Collins group doing her postdoctoral research.


Jorune's research focuses on ancient proteins preserved in mollusc shells and developing shell palaeoproteomics. Jorune is interested in shell proteins as potential source of taxonomic information which could be used for molecular barcoding in order to determine the biological origin of archaeological shell samples. This is particularly important for heavily worked and/or degraded artifacts, as for example archaeological shell ornaments. In particular, during her postdoc she aims to expand molecular dataset for Spondylus gaederopus, also known as the Mediterranean thorny oyster, which was one of the most widely used shells in Europe’s prehistory and accounts to a high number of prehistoric artifacts found in archaeological sites. This work may help for archaeologist to securely identify Spondylus shell, as the raw material used for crafting ornaments. She is also interested in understanding how proteins break down in shells over time and uses mass spectrometry approaches to study protein degradation patterns that occur within shell biominerals.