School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Seminar Series - Inferring ancestral history and selection in humans using genome-wide DNA

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11 October 2018

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Garrett Hellenthal, UCL
Venue: Fogg Lecture Theatre, Fogg Building

In this organismal biology and biological and experimental psychology seminar, Dr Garrett Hellenthal of UCL will deliver a talk on 'Inferring ancestral history and selection in humans using genome-wide DNA'.

Dr Hellenthal describes novel statistical approaches to infer the ancestral history of populations and individuals, using haplotype information from dense Single-Nucleotide-Polymorphism (SNP) data. He demonstrates how these techniques can describe and date intermixing events involving historical interactions among groups spanning thousands of years. He demonstrates new results from applications to data from Latin Americans, estimating their shared ancestry with people from precise geographic regions (e.g. specific regions of Spain and the Americas, in addition to other sources) and unearthing clandestine migrations to the Americas during the colonial era and other time periods.

Dr Hellenthal also describes new methods to test for genetic loci affected by selection, using both allele frequency and haplotype data. These novel techniques can identify the loci and populations involved in selection, enable the joint testing of SNP sets (e.g. in pathways), and account for both demography and variation in data quality across loci and samples. His research showcases these models with applications to several world-wide populations, incorporating DNA from both ancient and modern humans.

This seminar is open to all.