The New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
Postdoctoral Researcher Department of Genetics School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
B.Sc., University of Toronto M.Sc., University of Oxford Ph.D. 2007, Columbia University
Tel: (215) 746-2315
Across broad geographic scales, human populations have shown clear differences in levels of genetic diversity. Particularly, sub-Saharan Africans are found to possess the largest total number of alleles, as well as the largest number of unique alleles compared to non-African populations. Also, Africans have lower levels of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between alleles and more divergent patterns of LD than non-African populations. These patterns of diversity in non-Africans are consistent with the expansion of modern humans from Africa within the last 100,000 years. However, a continued challenge in evolutionary studies has been to characterize genetic variation among ethnically diverse human populations within continental regions, particularly in Africa. Given the central role of African populations in human evolution, understanding their patterns of genetic diversity and LD is crucial for reconstructing human prehistory. I am interested in studying the levels and patterns of African diversity to expand current knowledge concerning relationships among African populations, demographic history and modern human origins. Additionally, I am interested in identifying functionally significant variants involved in complex traits/complex disease using association studies to better understand genotype/phenotype correlations in populations of African descent.