Lab members use mathematical modeling, computational approaches, statistical method development, and data analysis to answer important biological questions.

One major interest of the lab is the evolution of complex traits—traits that are influenced by many genes, the environment, and their interaction. We consider the role of evolutionary-genetic forces in shaping trait variation and in creating the genotype–phenotype associations detected in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). One goal of this research is to improve methods to detect and interpret trait-associated genetic variation.

We are also interested in intersections of population genetics with questions of broader societal importance, such as genetic privacy and forensic genetics. We collaborate and consult with experts in other fields to pursue these questions, including legal experts, philosophers, and social scientists.

Selected Press Coverage

Genetic privacy attack could reveal DNA secrets from genealogy sites. Adam Vaughan, New Scientist, October 24th, 2019.

DNA ancestry searches can now identify most white Americans, Here’s why that’s legally questionable. Nsikan Akpan, PBS Newshour, October 12th, 2018.

The method that snared the Golden State Killer could find more than half of Americans from their DNA. Peter Aldhous, Buzzfeed News, October 11th, 2018.

Genome hackers show no one’s DNA is anonymous anymore. Megan Molteni, Wired, October 11th, 2018.

DNA websites cast a broad net for identifying people. Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press, October 11th, 2018.

Genetic privacy and the case of the Golden State Killer. Ricki Lewis, Genetic Literacy Project, May 1st, 2018.