Summary of Research Activity:
Our research interests are at the intersection of three major disciplines: population genetics, human evolution and anthropology. Our projects generally focus on long-standing questions in human origins, the evolution of primate genomes, and the evolutionary forces influencing patterns of variability within and between human populations. Our research questions cover a broad range of geographic (global to local) and temporal (Pleistocene to Holocene) scales. While we are mainly empiricists, crafting well-designed experiments and collecting the data necessary to answer the question at hand, we have a growing interest in mining large-scale publicly available data. To this end, we are combining data collection and new analysis methods with modeling and the development of statistical tools.
With these increasingly large data sets come both the opportunity to address more refined questions and the challenge of creating and analyzing more complex mathematical models. Our lab maintains close collaboration with quantitative scientists to extend our research methods allowing us to create new models and develop new inferential and computational procedures to address our core research questions.
The scope of our past and ongoing research includes work in four main areas: (i) testing models of human origins and archaic admixture; (ii) comparisons of patterns of diversity and divergence on the X chromosome and autosomes; (iii) identifying the signatures of natural selection in the human genome; and (iv) testing models of genetic, linguistic and cultural coevolution.