Human Evolution @ UCL



"  Molecular Phylogenetics


Molecular phylogenetics is the science of using DNA and protein sequences from different species or populations to infer their evolutionary relationships, which are represented as a phylogeny or tree. The field originated in the 1960s when protein sequences became available and have gone through explosive growth in recent years due to accumulation of genomic sequence data. Major methods of phylogeny inference include parsimony, which infers the tree by minimizing the required number of character changes, distance-based cluster algorithms, as well as statistical inference methods such as maximum likelihood and Bayesian.

Molecular phylogenetics had a huge impact on studies of human evolution by showing in the 1990s that homo sapiens is closely related to the African apes (chimpanzees and gorillas), and continue to provide important tools for the interpretation of genomic data from the humans and the apes.

Experts in Molecular Phylogenetics