Human Population Genetics II

Launched March 2015 Updated October 2020 22 lectures

Patterns of genetic variation in the human population represent the outcome of a complex process of genetic descent that has taken place over the course of human evolutionary history. These patterns in turn provide a rich source of information useful for inference of the events and phenomena of human evolution,... read moreand for studying evolutionary aspects of heritable disease and other human traits.

This course examines the subject of human population genetics, with a focus both on phenomena of population genetics as examined from the standpoint of human populations, and on the interpretation of human genetic variation and its history.

The first section of the course provides an overview of core concepts in population genetics, as reflected in the study of human genetic variation. The course next proceeds to examine a number of case studies of human population genetics, studying different geographic regions and different stages of human evolution. Next, the course covers a number of cultural, demographic, genomic, and selective phenomena in human population genetics, including a number of topics of current interest. The last section of the course focuses on the relationship of human genetic variation and human evolutionary history to the understanding of the genetic underpinnings of human phenotypes, including disease phenotypes.

Each lecture will be presented by a renowned scientist, providing an account of principles, methods, and results in the field, and leading up to current knowledge. Lecturers will interpret the topics of the suggested lectures in light of their own discoveries, to incorporate both basic principles and recent work from their own laboratories and those of other researchers. Modern developments in genome sequencing and in the theory and statistics of genetic variation have made possible an increasingly deep understanding of human evolutionary history, and this course aims to share these exciting developments.