Cambridge is particularly strong in human population genetics and evolution. The Welcome Trust Sanger Institute, based at Hinxton just outside Cambridge, was the main European centre involved in sequencing of the human genome and is now leading efforts to characterize genetic variation in human genomes. Chris Tyler-Smith works at WTSI and uses genome-scale population genetic data for humans to study their origins and search for functional genetic variants.
At the European Bioinformatics Institute, Nick Goldman’s group develop mathematical models for analysis of genome scale sequence data, including phylogenetic reconstruction and analysis of molecular evolution.
Work by Bill Amos and Andrea Manica, based in the Department of Zoology, has characterised human genetic variation, providing striking evidence for a decline in human genetic and morphological variation during the migration out of Africa.
Peter Forster works on human genetic ancestry especially using mitochondrial and Y-chromosome markers.
Toomas Kivisild, at the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolution, similarly studies the origins of modern human populations mainly in South Asia.
Aylwyn Scally’s research seeks to understand the timescales and events of human and primate evolution. This work involves mathematical and computational modelling of the evolutionary genomic and demographic processes responsible for present-day diversity in species and individuals, primarily using genetic data, but also other sources of evidence.