UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Aida Andres

Dr Aida Andres

Associate Professor

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2017

Research summary

Aida is interested in how organisms adapt to their environment. In her work, this means analysing genomes, both modern and ancient, to infer how natural selection mediates genetic adaptations. Most of her work has been on humans, as they have an interesting history of fast colonization of diverse environments, and in endangered primates, where the ability to adapt to quickly changing environments is crucial for survival. Her group tackles these questions analysing genomes, both modern and ancient. They use genomic approaches to study the processes of adaptation, population genetic techniques to make inferences on the history of selected alleles, and functional information to infer the consequences in present-day phenotypes of previously adaptive alleles. The group is particularly interested in the types of natural selection that maintain diversity within populations (e.g. balancing selection) or that create differences among populations (e.g. local adaptation), as well as adaptive introgression.

Teaching summary

Aida organises the Molecular Evolution module (BIOL0033), where students learn about the latest methods in molecular evolution and population genetics. She organises the practicals of Advanced Human Genetics: Research Principles (BIOL0021), and delivers lectures on population genetics and ancient DNA in other modules. She regularly supervises projects, both literature review and research projects, in multiple UCL undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Aida obtained her PhD working on primate comparative genomics at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) under the supervision of Prof Jaume Bertranpetit. She then went on to two postdoctoral positions in human population genomics, first at Cornell University (NY, USA) in the group of Prof Andrew G. Clark, and then at the National Human Genome Research Institute (MD, USA), with Dr Eric Green. She moved to Leipzig (Germany) to launch a new group on population genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, before joining the UCL Genetics Institute in 2017.