Together for Biodiversity

Human Evolutionary Genetics - HUMANEVOL



Group Description

The major research goal of the Human Evolutionary Genetics group is to study the evolutionary forces that shaped the diversity patterns currently observed in human genes and populations. By using different types of molecular markers and analytical approaches, we focus both on the reconstruction of the history of human populations and on the analysis of the evolutionary history of specific genes.


The major interrelated topics within which we have been developing these interests are the history and migration patterns of African populations; the signatures of natural selection in human adaptive traits; and the evolution of anthropologically relevant complex traits.


Our work on population history has been mainly focused on São Tomé e Príncipe, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Angola. Research on specific genes includes the analysis of the origin, evolution and spread of genetic variants involved in human pigmentation, lactase persistence or resistance to infectious disease. Studies on complex traits focus on the genetic basis and evolution of skin and eye color.


We are especially interested in studying the relationships between genetic and non-genetic aspects of human variation, like language and subsistence patterns, as well on the link between the history of southern African pastoralist populations and livestock genetic diversity. To develop these multidisciplinary areas of our research we have ongoing collaborations with specialists in linguistics, anthropology and animal genetics.




Student Supervisions