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Anthropology, Feb. 24

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to host Dr. Joanna Mountain, Associate Professor at Stanford University, and her presentation of her research on human evolutionary genetics.

"The current focus of my research group is upon the highly informative but difficult to detect biological variation found at the level of DNA. While not easily observed, DNA variation stores a great deal of information regarding the population processes of human history, as well as the evolution of our morphology, physiology, and behavior. We are currently surveying the maternally and paternally inherited genetic variation of a set of linguistically diverse peoples of Tanzania, addressing questions regarding the origins of our species, linguistic evolution, and the history of the migration in East Africa. We are also developing a new set of genetic systems; we predict that these will be informative regarding major human migrations and population bottlenecks throughout the last 100,000 years of human history.

More broadly speaking, my areas of interest include: the origins of modern humans; comparisons of genetic and linguistic variation among human populations; ethical issues regarding human genetics; phenotype and the interactions among genotype, environment, and culture; biology and concepts of race; the extent to which genetic data can reveal details of human history; the origins of and relationships among the peoples of East Africa; the development of statistical tools for analyzing a variety of human population genetic data; and, comparisons of the genetic variation of ancient and living peoples."

Date: February 24, 2010
Time: 5-6 pm
Place: Kennedy Commons

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