Human Evolutionary Genetics Lab

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Human Evolutionary Genetics Lab

About the Group

Our work covers a range of timescales and populations, from the initial spread of modern humans out of Africa to the peopling of Europe and the Mediterranean, and more recent migrations events and episodes of admixture. We aim to test hypotheses of dispersal and migration developed against an archaeological and historical background with data generated from the analysis of the DNA from modern populations.

Browsing around you will find an introduction to the various people that in one way or another have been working with us, and a description of the various projects currently ongoing in the lab. Our main interest is the investigation of human evolutionary history. In easy words we investigate genetic variation present in human populations to address questions related to the history of our species, Homo sapiens (or so we try!).

For more information visit:


Cristian Capelli (PI)

Rosalind Harding
Francesco Montinaro (PostDoc)
Cindy Santander (DPhil)
Miguel Gonzalez-Santos (DPhil)
Ryan Daniels (DPhil)

Recent Publications

Montinaro, F., Busby, G.B.J., Gonzalez-Santos, M., Oosthuitzen, O., Oosthuitzen, E., Anagnostou, P., Destro-Bisol, G., Pascali, V.L., Capelli, C. Complex ancient genetic structure and cultural transitions in Southern African populations (2017) Genetics, 205 (1), pp. 303-316.

Montinaro, F., Davies, J., Capelli, C. Group membership, geography and shared ancestry: Genetic variation in the Basotho of Lesotho (2016) American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 160 (1), pp. 156-161.

Tofanelli, S., Brisighelli, F., Anagnostou, P., Busby, G.B.J., Ferri, G., Thomas, M.G., Taglioli, L., Rudan, I., Zemunik, T., Hayward, C., Bolnick, D., Romano, V., Cali, F., Luiselli, D., Shepherd, G.B., Tusa, S., Facella, A., Capelli, C. The Greeks in the West: Genetic signatures of the Hellenic colonisation in southern Italy and Sicily (2016) European Journal of Human Genetics, 24 (3), pp. 429-436.

Hellenthal, G., Falush, D., Myers, S., Reich, D., Busby, G.B.J., Lipson, M., Capelli, C., Patterson, N. The Kalash Genetic Isolate? the Evidence for Recent Admixture (2016) American Journal of Human Genetics, 98 (2), p. 396.

Martinez-Cadenas, C., Blanco-Verea, A., Hernando, B., Busby, G.B.J., Brion, M., Carracedo, A., Salas, A.,Capelli, C. The relationship between surname frequency and Y chromosome variation in Spain (2016) European Journal of Human Genetics, 24 (1), pp. 120-128.

González-Santos, M.G., Montinaro, F., Oosthuizen, O., Oosthuizen, E., Busby, G.B.J., Anagnostou, P., Destro-Bisol, G., Pascali, V., Capelli, C. Genome-Wide snp analysis of southern african populations provides new insights into the dispersal of bantu-Speaking groups (2015) Genome Biology and Evolution, 7 (9), pp. 2560-2568.

Montinaro, F., Busby, G.B.J., Pascali, V.L., Myers, S., Hellenthal, G., Capelli, C. Unravelling the hidden ancestry of American admixed populations (2015) Nature Communications, 6, art. no. 6596, .

Marks, S.J., Montinaro, F., Levy, H., Brisighelli, F., Ferri, G., Bertoncini, S., Batini, C., Busby, G.B.J., Arthur, C., Mitchell, P., Stewart, B.A., Oosthuizen, O., Oosthuizen, E., D'Amato, M.E., Davison, S., Pascali, V., Capelli, C. Static and Moving Frontiers: The Genetic Landscape of Southern African Bantu-Speaking Populations (2015) Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 (1), pp. 29-43.

Busby, G.B.J., Hellenthal, G., Montinaro, F., Tofanelli, S., Bulayeva, K., Rudan, I., Zemunik, T., Hayward, C., Toncheva, D., Karachanak-Yankova, S., Nesheva, D., Anagnostou, P., Cali, F., Brisighelli, F., Romano, V., Lefranc, G., Buresi, C., Ben Chibani, J., Haj-Khelil, A., Denden, S., Ploski, R., Krajewski, P., Hervig, T., Moen, T., Herrera, R.J., Wilson, J.F., Myers, S., Capelli, C. The role of recent admixture in forming the contemporary West Eurasian genomic landscape (2015) Current Biology, 25 (19), pp. 2518-2526.

Hellenthal, G., Busby, G.B.J., Band, G., Wilson, J.F., Capelli, C., Falush, D., Myers, S. A genetic atlas of human admixture history (2014) Science, 343 (6172), pp. 747-751.