" Evolutionary Genetics
UCL has a long and rich history in the field of evolutionary and population genetics, and continues to host world-leading researchers in this area. Over the last 30 years the analysis of genetic data has become increasingly important to our understanding of human evolution and recovering whole genome sequences is now routine. Contributions based on genomic data include, but are not limited to the determination of phylogenetic relationships among primate species, providing overwhelming support for a predominately African origin of modern humans in the last few hundred thousand years, demonstration of Neanderthal and Denisovan introgression into the genetic makeup of anatomically modern humans, reconstruction of past migrations, detection of signatures of natural selection on a range of genes, and improving our understanding of infectious disease dynamics.
Despite these successes, we are only in the early stages of the post-genomic era; our genomes contain staggering quantities of information about our past and the real challenge is to take advantage of such rich data to describe the key evolutionary processes in humans. UCL researchers are rising to the task through the development of novel model-based inference approaches.