Current Projects

Disease evolution and history in Britain and beyond

Due to the world-leading initiative of the UK Biobank, deep insights into the genomic basis of human biology and disease will first be learned from the model of British-ancestry human populations. Supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator grant and the Vallee Foundation, we are extending this fine-scale picture of human genome variation into the third evolutionary dimension through the sequencing of over 1,000 ancient British genomes. We combine this with direct sequencing of pathogen DNA from past epidemics.

Origin and evolution of dogs

When and where did the first dogs appear, and how did they evolve alongside humans to the present-day? Supported by the European Research Council, we recently studied 27 ancient dog genomes to study dog origins and genetic history in relation to humans. We have also published the first genome sequencing of a 35,000 year old wolf.

Origin and evolution of modern humans

How, when, and where did Homo sapiens originate and how did they interact with archaic humans such as Neandertals? African populations harbor the greatest genomic diversity, and the ancestry of the African continent encompasses the ancestry outside of Africa as a consequence of the expansion into Eurasia by an African subpopulation after 100,000 years ago.