UCL Genetics Institute


UGI's Prof Andres Ruiz-Linares reports in Nature Native Americans descend from three key migrations

16 July 2012

Scientists have found that Native American populations — from Canada to the southern tip of Chile — arose from at least three migrations, with the majority descended entirely from a single group of First American migrants that crossed over through Beringia, a land bridge between Asia and America that existed during the ice ages, more than 15,000 years ago.

Prof Andres Ruiz-Linares (Genetics Institute - University College London) who coordinated the study, said: “For years it has been contentious whether the settlement of the Americas occurred by means of a single or multiple migrations from Siberia, but our research settles this debate: Native Americans do not stem from a single migration. Our study also begins to cast light on patterns of human dispersal within the Americas.”

The whole paper can be accessed at