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Molecular Ecology Group

We study evolutionary population genetics. A founding interest was in the use of molecular markers to reveal population structure and breeding behaviour in natural populations, particularly marine mammals but we also research the ways in which the markers themselves evolve, with a view to increasing the power of the analyses that can be conducted.

Our collaborations with mathematicians aim both at modelling the evolutionary behaviour of these markers, and at deriving improved methodologies for gene mapping and genetic distance estimation. Due to the existence of very large data sets from gene mapping studies, we are turning more and more to human studies and the potential for reconstructing historical patterns of migration and population growth. Recently we have been researching the relationship between heterozygosity and fitness in natural populations and humans. 

Key Publications 

Amos W.  2013. Variation in heterozygosity predicts variation in human substitution rates between populations, individuals and genomic regions. PLoS ONE 8(4), e63048.

Amos, W. 2011. Population-specific links between heterozygosity and the rate of human microsatellite evolution.   J. Mol. Evol. 72:215-221

Amos, W., Flint, J. & Xu, X. 2008.  Heterozygosity increases microsatellite mutation rate, linking it to demographic history. BMC Genet. 9: 72

Amos, W.  2010.  Heterozygosity and mutation rate: evidence for an interaction and its implications. Bioessays 32: 82-90.



Contact Details

Group Leader

Professor William Amos

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (3)36616

Group Members