hellenthal-group

group members

Current Members

Garrett Hellenthal

Garrett is currently an Associate Professor at UCL, funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society. He received a PhD in Statistics at the University of Washington, and subsequently worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. He is currently developing and applying statistical methods to infer (i) the genetic structure of human populations (particularly in regions of Africa), (ii) historical periods when world-wide groups intermixed, for example due to invasions or migrations, and (iii) genetic loci facilitating humans' adaptations to new environments (including through methylation marks).


Louise Ormond

Louise earned a BA from Cambridge University in 2006 in Natural Sciences (Physics), and an MSc in the Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2008 focused on malarial infection. She gained a PhD in Population Genetics in Jeff Jensen’s Lab at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2017, where her work covered population genetic inference using single time point data, and the modelling of infectious disease. Louise is currently a postdoc in Garrett's group at UGI working on methods for detecting selection in ancient and modern DNA. Her interests lie in human evolutionary genetics and pathogen dynamics, and the interaction between the two.


Sam Morris

Sam is a third year PhD student on the London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme (LIDo) and is supervised by Garrett. His PhD is based on developing new methods to infer patterns of haplotype-sharing between low coverage ancient DNA samples. He is also interested in applying them to novel ancient DNA datasets. Before working in the Hellenthal group, he studied infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He is co-supervised by Dr. Laurent Frantz (Queen Mary University of London).


Nancy Bird

Nancy is a PhD student on the London NERC DTP investigating the genetic structure and signals of admixture and adaptation in worldwide human populations. She is currently focussing on groups from West/Central Africa.


Maria Derakhshan

Maria is a second-year PhD student on the London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme (LIDo). She is co-supervised by Dr Matt Silver at the Department of Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her PhD interests focus on using human methylation data from multiple populations to identify genetic regions that may enable rapid adaptation to environmental pressures. Prior to this, Maria completed a Bachelors degree in Natural Sciences (Durham University) and a Masters by Research in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences (Imperial College London).


Previous Members


Liam Quinn

Former PhD student. Liam is now post-doc in Computational and RNA Biology in Ida Moltke's group the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen

Dr Pongsakorn Wangkumhang

Former PhD student.

Dr Lucy Van Dorp

Lucy is a former PhD student in the group. Lucy is now a Lecturer in Microbial Genomics with us at UCL Genetics Institute, specialising in applying computational genomics methods to human-associated pathogens. Her website can be found here.

Dr Juan Camilo Chacon-Duque

Former PhD student, Camilo did his thesis on the genetic history and evolution of Latin American human populations. Currently, he is a post-doc at the Natural History Museum, UK, studying spatial and temporal changes on genomic diversity of different Colombian species, using NGS and ancient DNA methods in specimens from museum collections. He also does a lot of public engagement.


Dr Saioa Lopez

Former post-doc. Currently a Insight Research Analyst at Wellcome Trust, London.

Dr Sile Hu

Sile was a postdoc working on “Building a platform for genetic inference from the Genomics England data”. He was co-supervised by Prof. Simon Myersm, Prof. Jonathan Marchini and Garrett Hellenthal. Sile is now working as a research Scientist in Novo Nordisk Research Center Oxford.


Dan Jacobson

Dan is a first-year PhD student currently conducting rotations as part of the UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. He graduated in 2019 with an MSci in Natural Sciences from UCL, specifically majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, and minoring in Mathematics and Statistics. He conducted his Masters project within the Hellenthal group, where he investigated the genetic basis of epigenetic variation in Gambian children.

This project is maintained by sahwa