Population history and natural selection in the Malagasy.
The Malagasy, the people of Madagascar, descend from both Bantu speaking sub-Saharan Africans and Austronesian speaking East Asians. Prior to meeting in Madagascar sometime after 2,300 years ago, Austronesians and Bantu speakers from Africa had been separated for about 60,000 years. This period of separation allowed ample opportunity for local adaptation in both groups. I am currently planning extensive field, laboratory, and computational research to investigate the population history and role of natural selection in the admixed people of Madagascar.
Assortative mating in humans.
Until recenlty, human genetic and cultural variation is was largely structured geographicaly. However, recent population migrations and expansions have brought diverse groups into contact with each other. When populations meet, if mating is random with respect to group identity, genetic structure will rapidly disappear. However, if mates are chosen assortatively with respect to genetic or cultura affiliation, genetic structure can be maintained even with prolonged contact between groups. We are assessing the extent and nature of assortative mating in diverse human groups.
Human genetic variation and gene flow between distantly related populations, Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, Kent, UK, 2014
Local adaptation and gene flow: The role of natural selection in recently admixed human groups, Natural History Museum, 2014
Local adaptation and gene flow: The role of natural selection in recently admixed human groups, Cambridge University, Biological Anthropology, 2014