The genetic adaptations of modern humans to their local environments.

Aida Andres (primary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment
Garrett Hellenthal (secondary)
Genetics, Evolution and Environment


Modern humans lived in Africa for millions of years, colonising the rest of the world in the last 50,000-100,000 years. Each new environment differed in ecological factors as important as climate, diet or pathogens, and their colonisation was accompanied by strong pressure to adapt. The resulting genetic adaptations live today as genetic differences among populations, and contribute critically to the phenotypic diversity found in humans today. This project aims to combine modern and ancient genomes to quantify the influence of local adaptation in population differentiation, to identify the loci mediating these adaptations, and to determine their influence in phenotypic diversity.


• Key FM, Abdud-Aziz M, Peter B, d’Amatto M, Dennis M, Schmidt J, Andrés AM. Human local adaptation of the TRPM8 cold receptor along a latitudinal cline. PLoS Genetics 14: e1007298 (2018).
• Key FM, Fu Q, Romaine F, Lachmann M, Andrés AM. Human adaptation and population differentiation in the light of ancient genomes. Nature Communications 7:10775 (2016).
• Danemann M, Andrés AM, Kelso J. Adaptive variation in human toll-like receptors is contributed by Neanderthal- and Denisova-like introgressed haplotypes. The American Journal of Human Genetics 98: 22–33 (2016).
• Hellenthal G, Busby GBJ, Band G, Wilson JF, Capelli C, Falush D, Myers S. A genetic atlas of human admixture history. Science 343:747-751 (2014).
• Key FM, Peter B, Dennis M, Huerta-Sánchez E, Tang W, Prokunina-Olsson L, Nielsen R, Andrés AM. Selection on a variant associated with improved viral clearance induced local, adaptive pseudogenization of interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4). PLoS Genetics 10:e1004681 (2014).
• Hellenthal G, Auton A, Falush D. Inferring human colonization history using a copying model. PLoS Genetics 4:e1000078 (2008)

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsMathematics / StatisticsSimulation / Modelling