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Department of Geography


Detecting signatures of natural selection in the human genome with geographically explicit models

The purpose of this project is to exploit recently available datasets on worldwide human genetic diversity to test for possible targets of natural selection in the genome. Demographic, geographically explicit inference frameworks have been developed for the analysis of the genetic data. Using this tool, we have reconstructed the expansion out of Africa by anatomically modern humans, taking into account climatic changes over the last 120k years.

The history of the geographical spread of anatomically modern humans from their African origin is not well constrained. Major question marks remain concerning the timing and route taken out of Africa, the rate of spread across Asia, the timing of establishment in Europe, and the timing of the spread into the Americas.

This research is being funded by the BBSRC.