I am an anthropological geneticist with interests in human population history and the origins of human infectious disease. I use an evolutionary perspective to investigate the processes that have produced observed, modern distributions of human genetic and pathogen/parasite diversity. To do this, I primarily employ computational methods (e.g., phylogenetics, population genetics, and simulation) to the analysis of novel and publicly available genetic and cultural data.
My current research projects involve: 1) identifying the major historical events / determinants of Native American diversity, focusing on the original peopling event ~15 KYA and the post-Columbian population crash; 2) investigating the effect of human demographic history on the evolution of human pathogens and parasites, including the effect of agricultural lifestyles on the human microbiome; 3) understanding the molecular evolution and macro-evolutionary processes affecting pathogen genetic diversity; and 4) the application of evolutionary principles to infer the complex history of human cultural diversity, especially with regard to the construction of language phylogenies.
ANTH:3325 Human Evolutionary Genetics
ANTH:1301 Human Origins
ANTH:3326 Infectious Disease and Human Evolution
ANTH:2320 Origins of Human Infectious Disease