Department of Anthropology

Deborah A. Bolnick


Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of California, Davis

Deborah A. Bolnick

Contact

Interests


Anthropological genetics and genomics, ancient DNA, Native American population history, human population genetics, human biological variation, race, paleoepigenetics, ethical/legal/social implications of genetic research

Biography


Deborah Bolnick received her B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University (1999) and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis (2005). She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, and is also affiliated with the Population Research Center and the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of anthropology and genetics.

Research Interests

Dr. Bolnick uses recent advances in molecular genetics to investigate the evolutionary history and biological diversity of human populations. In her research, she considers genomic data in conjunction with other lines of anthropological and biological evidence, and works in three main areas: 

  1. She studies Native American genomic variation and how it has been shaped by culture, history, geography, and evolution. She analyzes DNA from both ancient and contemporary populations to track changes in genetic diversity over time and to reconstruct the evolutionary and demographic histories of Native American populations. As part of this research, she works closely with indigenous individuals in the southern U.S.
  2. Her lab group examines epigenetic patterns in ancient DNA (paleoepigenetics) and uses those patterns to investigate the impact of social inequalities and certain life experiences in ancient human societies. 
  3. She is interested in the ethical, legal, social, and political implications of genetic research, including the ways in which genetic ancestry studies intersect with ideas about race, ethnicity, and identity.   

Teaching Interests

Dr. Bolnick teaches courses on Anthropological Genetics, Human Variation, Race and Science, Human and Primate Evolutionary Genetics, and Ancient and Environmental DNA.

Courses


ANT 349D • Anthropological Genetics

31343 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 5.172

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular genetics and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and other primates.  We will examine the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic findings.  Students will gain hands-on experience in genetic analysis, and will learn to understand and evaluate molecular anthropology research.  Topics to be covered include: human genetic diversity, human evolution and migration, ancient DNA, primate evolution and behavior, genetic ancestry and identity, genetic essentialism, admixture, eugenics, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetics research.

ANT 349C • Human Variation

30500-30501 • Spring 2016
Meets MW 100pm-200pm SAC 4.174

This course surveys the patterns of biological variation within and between human populations.  We will examine physical, genetic, and behavioral traits, and consider both the microevolutionary and cultural processes that influence those traits.  We will also discuss how studies of human variation have impacted society in the past and present.  Topics include:  an overview of the principles of genetics and evolution, race, sex differences, human variability in behavior, eugenics and contemporary genetic issues, human plasticity, and disease.

ANT 388 • Ancient Dna

30560 • Spring 2016
Meets W 900am-1200pm SAC 5.124

Ancient DNA can be obtained from the remains of organisms that have long been dead (and may now be extinct), and it can be retrieved from a variety of sources — human and animal remains, coprolites, seeds and other plant material, soil, and even some cultural artifacts. The study of ancient DNA makes it possible to directly assess genetic variation in the past, allowing us to track evolutionary changes over time and to reconstruct long-term population dynamics. Furthermore, when ancient DNA is considered in conjunction with archaeological evidence, it can help clarify the social structure, mating and postmarital residence patterns, kinship systems, and burial practices of ancient populations. It can also shed light on prehistoric population movements and interactions.

While ancient DNA studies have the potential to provide important and unique insights about evolution and human prehistory, there are significant challenges associated with the recovery and analysis of ancient DNA. This graduate course will explore the prospects and problems of ancient DNA research, and will consider applications of such research in anthropology, evolutionary biology, paleontology, and archaeology.

Discussion topics and readings will be selected based on the interests of students enrolled in this graduate course.

ANT 349D • Anthropological Genetics

31580 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 4.118

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular genetics and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and other primates.  We will examine the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic findings.  Students will gain hands-on experience in genetic analysis, and will learn to understand and evaluate molecular anthropology research.  Topics to be covered include: human genetic diversity, human evolution and migration, ancient DNA, primate evolution and behavior, genetic ancestry and identity, genetic essentialism, admixture, eugenics, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetics research.

ANT 349C • Human Variation

31755-31770 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 900am-1000am CLA 0.112

This course surveys the patterns of biological variation within and between human populations.  We will examine physical, genetic, and behavioral traits, and consider both the microevolutionary and cultural processes that influence those traits.  We will also discuss how studies of human variation have impacted society in the past and present.  Topics include:  an overview of the principles of genetics and evolution, race, sex differences, human variability in behavior, eugenics and contemporary genetic issues, human plasticity, and disease.

ANT 388 • Human/Primate Evolut Genetics

31845 • Spring 2014
Meets TH 1100am-200pm SAC 5.118

ANT 349D • Anthropological Genetics

31480 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 5.168

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular genetics and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and other primates.  We will examine the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic findings.  Students will gain hands-on experience in genetic analysis, and will learn to understand and evaluate molecular anthropology research.  Topics to be covered include: human genetic diversity, human evolution and migration, ancient DNA, primate evolution and behavior, genetic ancestry and identity, genetic essentialism, admixture, eugenics, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetics research.

ANT 349C • Human Variation

31380 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 100pm-200pm CLA 0.112

This course surveys the patterns of biological variation within and between human populations.  We will examine physical, genetic, and behavioral traits, and consider both the microevolutionary and cultural processes that influence those traits.  We will also discuss how studies of human variation have impacted society in the past and present.  Topics include:  an overview of the principles of genetics and evolution, race, sex differences, human variability in behavior, eugenics and contemporary genetic issues, human plasticity, and disease.

ANT 388 • Ancient Dna

31440 • Spring 2013
Meets W 900am-1200pm SAC 5.118

Ancient DNA can be obtained from the remains of organisms that have long been dead (and may now be extinct), and it can be retrieved from a variety of sources — human and animal remains, coprolites, seeds and other plant material, soil, and even some cultural artifacts.  The study of ancient DNA makes it possible to directly assess genetic variation in the past, allowing us to track evolutionary changes over time and to reconstruct long-term population dynamics.  Furthermore, when ancient DNA is considered in conjunction with archaeological evidence, it can help clarify the social structure, mating and postmarital residence patterns, kinship systems, and burial practices of ancient populations.  It can also shed light on prehistoric population movements and interactions.   While ancient DNA studies have the potential to provide important and unique insights about evolution and human prehistory, there are significant challenges associated with the recovery and analysis of ancient DNA.  This graduate course will explore the prospects and problems of ancient DNA research, and will consider applications of such research in anthropology, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and paleontology.  Topics to be covered may include:  post-mortem DNA degradation and preservation; sources of ancient DNA; laboratory methods for analyzing ancient DNA; contamination and authentication issues; phylogenetic, demographic, and anthropological inferences from ancient DNA; the Neandertal/Denisovan genomes and human evolution; biomolecular archaeology; prehistoric human migration; plant and animal domestication; paleopathology, disease, and ancient microbial studies; animal ancient DNA studies; the rate of molecular evolution; plant archaeogenetics.

 

ANT 349D • Anthropological Genetics

31251 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SAC 5.168

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular genetics and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and other primates.  We will examine the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic findings.  Students will gain hands-on experience in genetic analysis, and will learn to understand and evaluate molecular anthropology research.  Topics to be covered include: human genetic diversity, human evolution and migration, ancient DNA, primate evolution and behavior, genetic ancestry and identity, genetic essentialism, admixture, eugenics, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetics research.

ANT 349D • Anthropological Genetics

30200 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm EPS 2.136

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular genetics and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and other primates.  We will examine the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic findings.  Topics to be covered include the genetic structure of human populations, race and gender issues, primate evolution and behavior, ancient DNA, gene/language/culture co-evolution, behavioral genetics, genetic testing/counseling, the Human Genome Project, identity and genetic essentialism, and the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genetics research.


Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Anthropology 301.

 

ANT 388 • Race And Science

30275 • Fall 2010
Meets T 900am-1200pm EPS 1.130KA

This course will examine the scientific study of race. We will trace the history of racial scientific racism, and we will explore the ways that race is constructed and understood in anthropology, biology, psychology, and medicine. We will also evaluate both the nature and significance of human biological diversity. This approach will make it possible for us to understand why some recent scientific research reifies race as genetic, and it will help us develop effective strategies for conveying the complex nature of race.

ANT 348K • Anthropological Genetics-W

30440 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A215A

Anthropology 348K

ANTHROPOLOGICAL GENETICS-W

Spring 2010

 

Course Information:            Unique #30440

                                                                                                                        TTh 2:00-3:30 pm, JES A215A

 

Course Instructor:                        Dr. Deborah Bolnick

                                                                                                                            E-mail: deborah.bolnick@mail.utexas.edu

                                                                                                                        Phone: (512) 471-7532

                                                                                                                        Office Hours: EPS 1.106, Thursday 11:30am-1:30pm or by appointment

 

Teaching Assistant:                        Gabrielle Russo

                                                                                                                        E-mail: gabrielle.russo@mail.utexas.edu

                                                                                                                        Office Hours: EPS 2.104, Friday 9:00-10:50am 

 

Course Description:           

This course explores the intersection of genetics and anthropology.  We will cover the basic principles of molecular and population genetics as relates to the study of humans and non-human primates.  We will discuss the ways in which genetics can contribute to the field of anthropology, as well as how anthropological knowledge can illuminate genetic research.  This class will be a mix of lecture, discussion, and laboratory work.  Tuesdays will be mostly lecture, whereas Thursdays will be devoted to discussions of the assigned readings or lab work.  You will gain some hands-on experience in genetic analysis and will learn to understand and evaluate molecular anthropology research.  This course is also a substantial writing component course, so we will work to improve your writing skills through short, informal writing assignments and a longer research paper.

 

Course Requirements:

1.            Exam 1 (20%).  The first exam on February 25 will cover material from lectures, discussions,

labs, and readings.  The exam may include multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions.

2.       Exam 2 (20%).  The second exam on April 15 will cover material presented after the first exam.  Exam format will be similar to that of the first exam.

3.       Short Writing Assignments (10%).  Five short writing assignments (1 pg each, double-spaced) will be given over the semester.  In some assignments, you will reflect on the assigned readings before coming to a class discussion; in others, you will apply what you learned in class to analyze a genetic dataset.  These assignments will be graded based on the thought and effort you put into the assignment, and will give you the chance to receive some informal feedback on your writing.

4.            Class Participation (15%).  This portion of your grade will be based on your participation in

class activities and discussions.  On one discussion day, you will be responsible for (a) orally

summarizing the main points of the readings for the class, and (b) providing questions to help

guide the class discussion. This activity will make up 1/3 of your class participation grade.   

5.  Research Paper (30%).  The research paper (10-12 pages, double-spaced) will allow you to

explore a relevant topic of your choice.  A 2-page proposal and bibliography (5%) is due on

March 23Part 1 of the paper (10%) is due on April 8.  After receiving feedback, you will

submit your final research paper (15%) on May 6.  Paper instructions will be handed out later.

6.  Research Presentation (5%).  Each student will give a 10-minute presentation on the subject of

their research paper on May 6 or 15.

Required Readings:

1.             Relethford, John H. 2003. Reflections of Our Past. Boulder: Westview Press.

2.             A packet of other required readings is available at Abel’s Copies (University Towers, 715D West

23rd Street, 472-5353).

 

Course Website: 

Class information, handouts, and a discussion forum will be available at the course website on Blackboard (http://www.courses.utexas.edu).  Course updates will also be sent to your university e-mail account.  Please check both regularly. 

 

Grading Policies:

If an assignment is turned in late, the assignment grade will be lowered by 10% for each day that the assignment is late.  If a serious issue (i.e. illness, family death, etc.) arises that may prevent you from attending class, turning in an assignment on time, or taking an exam, contact Dr. Bolnick by e-mail or telephone as soon as possible to discuss an assignment extension or to schedule a make-up exam.

 

Final letter grades will be assigned using the following scale: A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%), D (60-69            %), F (0-59%).

 

Re-grading Policy:  If you believe that an exam or assignment has been graded incorrectly, submit a written request for a re-grade to Dr. Bolnick within one week of when the graded exam or assignment was returned.  The written request should include an explanation of your position and be attached to the graded exam or assignment.  If you suspect that a simple addition error was made, speak to Dr. Bolnick to have the error corrected. 

 

Credit/No-Credit Policy:  To receive credit for this course if you enrolled on the pass/fail basis, you must 1) take the two exams, 2) turn in a paper proposal, part 1 of the research paper, and final research paper, 3) complete at least three of the short writing assignments, and 4) receive the equivalent of a D or higher in this class.

 

Cheating/Plagiarism Policy:  If you cheat or plagiarize, the university guidelines for disciplinary action will be followed.  Any cheating or plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Students and will result in failure of this course.  For more information, see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs (especially the sections on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Discipline Procedures).

 

Accommodations:  I encourage students with disabilities to meet with me at the beginning of the semester to discuss any needs.  Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) may arrange accommodations with Services for Students with Disabilities, which is located in the Student Services Building (see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd or call 471-6259 or TTY 471-4641 for more information).

 

Attendance:  I do not take formal attendance, but I am aware of who consistently comes to class and who does not.  Attendance is necessary to earn the points for class participation, and consistent attendance can help to raise your grade if you end up with a borderline final grade.  Whether or not you come to class, you are responsible for keeping up with what happens in class.
Schedule of Topics, Readings, and Important Dates:

 

            (D) = class discussion; SWA = Short Writing Assignment

* indicates readings that must be completed BEFORE coming to class

 

Date                                                                        Topic and Readings

Tues., Jan. 19                                    Introduction and History   

Reading: O’Rourke; Marks (A)   

 

Th            urs., Jan. 21                                    (D) Folk Heredity and Eugenics; SWA 1 Due

                                                                               Reading: *Scheinfeld, *Allen, *Sinnott & Dunn, *Kalb             

 

Tues., Jan. 26                                    DNA, Genes, and Mutations                                                                       

Reading: Stone & Lurquin; Dolgin    

 

Th            urs., Jan. 28                                    DNA Extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Lab (in PAT 609)  

                                                                               Reading: Hartl & Jones (A)                         

 

Tues., Feb. 2                                    Genome Complexities     

                                                                                                Reading: Commoner, Ledford, Gibbs, Pray, Zimmer                         

 

Th            urs., Feb. 4                                    (D) Genetic Essentialism; SWA 2 Due

Reading: *Nelkin & Lindee, *Turney, *Wald, *Taussig    

 

Tues., Feb. 9                                    Population Genetics I 

                                                                                                Reading: Mielke et al.            

 

Thurs., Feb. 11                                    Gel Electrophoresis and RFLP Lab (in PAT 609)

                                                                                                Reading: Hartl & Jones (B)                         

 

Tues., Feb. 16                                    Population Genetics II; SWA 3 Due

                                                                                                Reading: Fix, Mielke & Fix                       

 

Thurs., Feb. 18                                    (D) Admixture; Overview of Research Paper Assignment                                                           

                                                                                                Reading: *Reflections of Our Past chapter 10; Hafner                                     

 

Tues., Feb. 23                                    Population Genetics III; Review for Exam; SWA 4 Due

 

Th            urs., Feb. 25                                    Exam 1    

 

Tues., Mar. 2                                    Humans and Apes 

Reading: *Marks (B), Reflections of Our Past chapter 2, Cohen     

 

Th            urs., Mar. 4                                    DNA Sequence Analysis Lab                          

 

Tues., Mar. 9                                    Primate Evolution

                                                                                                Reading: Surridge et al.

 

 

Date                                                                        Topic and Readings

Thurs., Mar. 11                                    (D) Primate Behavior 

                                                                                                Reading: *Utami et al., *Ross et al., *Mitani et al.                       

 

Mar. 16/18                                                SPRING BREAK

 

Tues., Mar. 23                                    Ancient DNA; Research Paper Proposal and Bibliography Due

                                                                                                Reading: Kaestle & Horsburgh                        

 

Thurs., Mar. 25                                    (D) Neandertals                       

Reading: *Reflections of Our Past chapter 4, *Clark, *Krause et al., *Herrera et al.

 

Tues., Mar. 30                                    Modern Human Origins

  Reading: Reflections of Our Past chapter 3, Weaver & Roseman                

 

Thurs., Apr. 1                                    (D) Human Genetic Diversity                                                                                                                       

Reading: *Reflections of Our Past chapter 5, *Campbell & Tishkoff                             

 

Tues., Apr. 6                                    Prehistoric Migration I: Colonization of the Americas; SWA 5 Due 

  Reading: Reflections of Our Past chapter 6, Goebel et al.                

 

Thurs., Apr. 8                                    (D) Culture, Language, and Genes; Research Paper Part 1 Due

                                                                                                Reading: *Nettle & Harriss, *Nettle, *Bolnick et al. (A)

 

Tues., Apr. 13                                    Prehistoric Migration II: Europe and the Pacific

Reading: Reflections of the Past chapters 7 & 8         

 

Thurs., Apr. 15                                    Exam 2

 

Tues., Apr. 20                                    Film: Motherland             

 

Thurs., Apr. 22                                    (D) Genomics, Ancestry, and Identity

  Reading: *Bolnick et al. (B), *Rotimi, *Nelson                

 

Tues., Apr. 27                                    Guest Lecturer: John Relethford (SUNY-Oneonta)

Reading: Reflections of the Past chapter 9

 

Thurs., Apr. 29                                    (D) Genetic Kinship

                                                                                                Reading: *Tallbear, *Nash                                   

 

Tues., May 4                                    (D) DNA Databases

                                                                                                Reading: *Pálsson & Hardardóttir, *Obasogie

 

Thurs., May 6                                    Student Presentations; Final Research Paper Due

 

Sat., May 15                                                Student Presentations (9am – noon)                       
Contents of the Course Reader:

O’Rourke DH. 2003. Anthropological genetics in the genomic era: a look back and ahead.

American Anthropologist 105:101-109.

Marks, J. (A) 2008. The construction of Mendel’s laws. Evolutionary Anthropology 17:250-253.

Scheinfeld A. 1944. The Kallikaks after thirty years. Journal of Heredity 259-264.

Allen, GE. 1997. The social and economic origins of genetic determinism: a case history of the

American eugenics movement, 1900-1940 and its lessons for today. Genetica 99:77-88.

Sinnott EW, Dunn LC. 1925. The problems of eugenics. Principles of Genetics: An

Elementary Text, with Problems. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. pp 402-415.

Kalb C. 2004. Brave new babies. Newsweek January 26:44-52.

Stone L, Lurquin PF. 2007. Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution: A Synthesis. Malden, MA: Blackwell

Publishing. pp 48-72.

Dolgin E. 2009. The genome finishers. Nature 462:843-845.

Hartl DL, Jones EW. (A) 2001. Genetics. Fifth edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

pp 58-64.

Commoner B. 2002. Unraveling the DNA myth. Harper’s Magazine February: 39-47.

Ledford H. 2008. Human genes are multitaskers. Nature.

Gibbs WW. 2003. The unseen genome: gems among the junk. Scientific American 289:46-53.

Pray LA. 2004. Epigenetics: genome, meet your environment. The Scientist 18:14-20.

Zimmer C. 2008. Now: the rest of the genome. New York Times (November 11).

Nelkin D, Lindee MS. 1995. The DNA Mystique. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co. pp 1-16.

Taussig K-S. 2005. The molecular revolution in medicine: promise, reality, and social organization.

In: MicKinnon S, Silverman S, editors. Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture. Chicago: University

of Chicago Press. pp 223-250.

Mielke JH, Konigsberg LW, Relethford JH. 2005. Human Biological Variation. Oxford: Oxford

University Press. pp 47-85.

Hartl DL, Jones EW. (B) 2001. Genetics. Fifth edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

pp 50-58, 65-76.

Fix AG. 1999. Migration and Colonization in Human Microevolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press. pp 51-74.

Mielke JH, Fix AG. 2007. The confluence of anthropological genetics and anthropological

demography. In: Crawford MH, editor. Anthropological Genetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press. pp 112-140.

Hafner K. 2007. Seeing corporate fingerprints in Wikipedia edits. New York Times (August 19).

Marks J. (B) 2002. What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp 7-

50.

Cohen J. 2007. Relative differences: the myth of 1%. Science 316:1836.

Surridge AK, Osorio D, Mundy NI. 2003. Evolution and selection of trichromatic vision in

primates. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 18:198-205.

Utami SS, Goossens B, Bruford MW, de Ruiter JR, van Hooff JARAM. 2002. Male bimaturism

and reproductive success in Sumatran orang-utans. Behavioral Ecology 13:643-652.

Ross CN, French JA, Orti G. 2007. Germ-line chimerism and paternal care in marmosets (Callithrix

kuhlii). Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA 104:6278-6282.

Mitani JC, Merriwether DA, Zhang C. 2000. Male affiliation, cooperation, and kinship in wild

chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour 59:885-893.

Kaestle FA, Horsburgh KA. 2002. Ancient DNA in anthropology: methods, applications, and

ethics. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 45:92-130.

Clark AG. 2008. Genome sequences from extinct relatives. Cell 134:388-389.

Krause J, Lalueza-Fox C, Orlando L, Enard W, Green RE, Burbano HA, Hublin J-J, Hänni C,

Fortea J, de la Rasilla M, Bertranpetit J, Rosas A, Pääbo S. 2007. The derived FOXP2 variant of

modern humans was shared with Neandertals. Current Biology 17:1908-1912.

Herrera KJ, Somarelli JA, Lowery RK, Herrera RJ. 2009. To what extent did Neanderthals and

modern humans interact? Biological Reviews 84:245-257.

Weaver TD, Roseman CC. 2008. New developments in the genetic evidence for modern human

origins. Evolutionary Anthropology 17:69-80.

Campbell MC, Tishkoff SA. 2008. African genetic diversity: implications for human demographic

history, modern human origins, and complex disease mapping. Annual Review of Genomics and

Human Genetics 9:403-433.

Goebel T, Waters MR, O’Rourke DH. 2008. The late Pleistocene dispersal of modern humans in the

Americas. Science 319:1497-1502.

Nettle D, Harriss L. 2003. Genetic and linguistic affinities between human populations in Eurasia

and West Africa. Human Biology 75:331-344.

Nettle D. 1999. Linguistic diversity of the Americas can be reconciled with a recent colonization.

Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA 96:3325-3329.

Bolnick DA, Bolnick DI, Smith DG. (A) 2006. Asymmetric male and female genetic histories in

Native Americans from eastern North America. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23:2161-2174.

Bolnick DA, Fullwiley D, Duster T, Cooper RS, Fujimura JH, Kahn J, Kaufman JS, Marks J,

Morning A, Nelson A, Ossorio P, Reardon J, Reverby SM, TallBear K. (B) 2007. The science and

business of genetic ancestry testing. Science 318:399-400.

Rotimi CN. 2003. Genetic ancestry tracing and the African identity: a double-edged sword?

Developing World Bioethics 3: 151-158.

Nelson A. 2008. Bio science: genetic genealogy testing and the pursuit of African ancestry. Social

Studies of Science 38:759-783.

TallBear K. 2008. Native-American-DNA.com: in search of Native American race and tribe. In:

Koenig BA, Lee SS, Richardson SS, editors. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. New Brunswick:

Rutgers University Press. pp 235-252.

Nash C. 2004. Genetic kinship. Cultural Studies 18:1-33.

Pálsson G, Hardardóttir KE. 2002. For whom the cell tolls. Current Anthropology 43:271-301.

Obasogie OK. 2009. Playing the Gene Card?: A Report on Race and Biotechnology. Oakland: Center for

Genetics and Society. pp 31-44.

 

 

 

PDFs Available on the Course Website:

Turney J. 2009. Interview with the gene: genetic metaphors in journalism. GeneWatch 22(6):8-11.

Wald P. 2009. Myth, Mendel, and the movies. GeneWatch 22(6):11-13.

 

ANT 388 • Human/Primate Evolut Genetics

30520 • Spring 2010
Meets T 900-1200 EPS 1.130KA

Anthropology 388

HUMAN/PRIMATE EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS

Spring 2010

 

Course Information:            Unique Number: 30520

                                                                                                                        Meeting Time: Tuesdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Meeting Location: EPS 1.130KA

 

Course Instructor:                        Dr. Deborah Bolnick

                                                                                                                            E-mail: deborah.bolnick@mail.utexas.edu

                                                                                                                        Phone: (512) 471-7532

                                                                                                                        Office Hours: EPS 1.106, Thursday 11:30am-1:30pm or by appointment

 

Course Description:           

This course will examine the evolutionary history of human and non-human primates from a genetic perspective.  The first third of the course will provide an overview of genomics, population genetics, and evolutionary genetic theory as pertains to the study of humans and other primates.  Students will gain hands-on experience with laboratory techniques and the quantitative methods used to analyze genetic data.  The second two-thirds of the course will focus on applications of molecular data to questions and current issues in the study of human evolution/migration and primatology.  Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis and discussion of recent literature, so students are expected to complete required readings before class and come prepared to actively participate in class discussion.

 

Course Requirements:

1.        Seminar Coordination (25%). Each student will organize and help lead two classes.  The student leader is expected to (a) briefly present the core ideas found in the readings (PowerPoint slides or handouts may be prepared if you think they would be helpful), and (b) prepare a set of topics and questions to help guide the class discussion.  You should consult with Dr. Bolnick in office hours or by email the week before you are scheduled to help lead class.

2.       Class Participation (25%).  Each student is expected to (a) complete all readings before class, (b) bring questions/comments to class, and (c) participate fully in all discussions.  The participation grade will also include grades for two short presentations on February 9 and 16 (instructions given in class at a later date).

3.       Weekly Commentaries (15%). A one page (double-spaced) commentary on the readings is due in class when you are not giving an in-class presentation.  This assignment is intended to facilitate careful, critical thought about the topic before class.  Your commentary may focus on one or several readings, and it may raise questions or concerns, discuss a point that seems particularly important, synthesize material from different sources, suggest additional research that is needed to resolve an issue, etc.  Your commentary should not simply be a summary of the readings.

4.       Genetics Exercises (10%). Three homework exercises will be assigned that involve the analysis of hypothetical or real molecular data.  Exercises will be graded on both accuracy and effort.

5.       Research Proposal and Presentation (25%). Each student will write a 15-20 page research proposal (double-spaced) on a relevant topic of your choice and in the format of a NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant proposal (guidelines will be distributed at a later date).  The first part of the proposal (5%) is due on April 6.  After receiving feedback from Dr. Bolnick and other students, each student will complete their proposal and turn in the final product on April 27 (15%).  Each student will also give a 20-minute presentation of their proposal on that day (5%).

Required Readings:

1.             Jobling MA, Hurles ME, and Tyler-Smith C. 2004. Human Evolutionary Genetics: Origins, Peoples, and

Disease. New York: Garland Science.

2.            Other required readings are available on the course website (see below).

 

If you do not understand a concept, method, or other topic, you are expected to follow up with additional readings.  Additional reading suggestions can be found at the end of each chapter in the textbook, in the references listed in the journal articles, or by talking to Dr. Bolnick.

 

Course Website: 

Class information, readings, assignments, handouts, and a discussion forum will be available at the course website on Blackboard (http://www.courses.utexas.edu).  Course updates will also be sent to your university e-mail account.  Please check both regularly. 

 

Grading Policies:

If an assignment is turned in late, the assignment grade will be lowered by 10% for each day that the assignment is late.  If a serious issue (i.e. illness, family death, etc.) arises that may prevent you from attending class or turning in an assignment on time, contact Dr. Bolnick by e-mail or telephone as soon as possible to discuss a make-up assignment or a change in an assignment’s due date.

 

Final letter grades will be assigned using the following scale:

A                      90-100%

B                      80-89%

C                      70-79%

D                      60-69%

F                      below 59%

 

Re-grading Policy:  If you believe that an assignment has been graded incorrectly, submit a written request for a re-grade within one week of when the graded assignment was returned.  The written request should include an explanation of your position and be attached to the graded assignment.

 

Cheating/Plagiarism Policy:  If you cheat or plagiarize, the university guidelines for disciplinary action will be followed.  Any cheating or plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Students and will result in failure of this course.  For more information, see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs (especially the sections on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Discipline Procedures).

 

Accommodations:  I encourage students with disabilities to meet with me at the beginning of the semester to discuss any needs.  Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) may arrange accommodations with Services for Students with Disabilities, which is located in the Student Services Building (see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd or call 471-6259 or TTY 471-4641 for more information).
Schedule of Topics, Readings, and Due Dates:

 

January 19                                    Introduction and History; DNA/PCR Lab

 

January 26                                    Human/Primate Genomes                       

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapters 1 and 2.

Pennisi E. 2000. Human Genome Project: And the gene number is…? Science 288:1146-1147.

Pennisi E. 2007. Working the (gene count) numbers: finally, a firm answer? Science 316:1113.

Kaiser J. 2008. A plan to capture human diversity in 1000 genomes. Science 319:395.

Zimmer C. 2008. Now: the rest of the genome. The New York Times (November 11).

Monroe D. 2009. Genomic clues to DNA treasure sometimes lead nowhere. Science 325:142-143.

Li WH, Saunder MA. 2005. The chimpanzee and us. Nature 437:50-51.

Marques-Bonet T, Ryder OA, Eichler EE. 2009. Sequencing primate genomes: what have we

learned? Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics 10:355-386.

 

February 2                                    Genetic Variation; Gel Electrophoresis/RFLP Lab                       

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapters 3 and 4.

Perry GH, et al. 2007. Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation.

Nature Genetics 39:1256-1260. 

Willerslev E, Cooper A. 2005. Ancient DNA. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 272:3-16.

Millar CD, et al. 2008. New developments in ancient genomics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution

23:386-393.

 

February 9                                    Processes Shaping Genetic Diversity                       

Exercise 1 Due

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 5.

Tishkoff SA, et al. 1996. Global patterns of linkage disequilibrium at the CD4 locus and modern

human origins. Science 271:1380-1387.

Amos W, Hoffman JI. 2010. Evidence that two main bottleneck events shaped modern human

genetic diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 277:131-137.

Tishkoff SA, et al. 2007. Convergent adaptation of human lactase persistence in African and

Europe. Nature Genetics 39:31-40.

Oota H, et al. 2001. Human mtDNA and Y-chromosome variation is correlated with matrilocal

versus patrilocal residence. Nature Genetics 29:20-21.

Wilder JA, et al. 2004. Global patterns of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome structure are

not influenced by migration rates of females than males. Nature Genetics 36:1122-1125.

 

February 16                        Genetic Inferences; DNA Sequence Analysis Lab                        

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 6.

Underhill PA, Kivisild T. 2007. Use of Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA population

structure in tracing human migrations. Annual Review of Genetics 41:539-564.

 

 

February 23                        Human/Primate Evolution                                    

Exercise 2 Due

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 7.

Chatterjee HJ, et al. 2009. Estimating the phylogeny and divergence times of primates using a

supermatrix approach. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9:259.

Fischer A, et al. 2006. Demographic history and genetic differentiation in apes. Current Biology

16:1133-1138.

Cohen J. 2007. Relative differences: the myth of 1%. Science 316: 1836.

Patterson N, et al. 2006. Genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees.

Nature 441:1103-1108. (also Brief Communications Arising)

Khaitovich P, et al. 2005. Parallel patterns of evolution in the genomes and transcriptomes of

humans and chimpanzees. Science 309:1850-1854.

 

March 2                                                Molecular Primatology                       

Required Readings:

Di Fiore A. 2003. Molecular genetic approaches to the study of primate behavior, social

organization, and reproduction. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 46:62-99.

Utami SS, et al. 2002. Male bimaturism and reproductive success in Sumatran orang-utans.

Behavioral Ecology 13:643-652. 

Charpentier M, et al. 2005. Constraints on control: factors influencing reproductive success in

male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Behavioral Ecology 16:614-623.

Rodriguez-Llanes JM, Verbeke G, Finlayson C. 2009. Reproductive benefits of high social status

in male macaques (Macaca). Animal Behaviour 78:643-649.

Ross CN, French JA, Orti G. 2007. Germ-line chimerism and paternal care in marmosets

(Callithrix kuhlii). Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA 104:6278-6282. 

Bradley BJ, Doran-Sheehy DM, Vigilant L. 2007. Potential for female kin associations in wild  

western gorillas despite female dispersal. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 274:2179-2185.

 

March 9                                                Origins of Modern Humans                                   

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 8.           

Evans PD, et al. 2006. Evidence that the adaptive allele of the brain size gene microcephalin

introgressed into Homo sapiens from an archaic Homo lineage. Proceedings of the National Academy

of the Sciences USA 103:18178-18183. 

Garrigan D, Kingan SB. 2007. Archaic human admixture: a view from the genome. Current

Anthropology 48:895-902.

Herrera KJ, et al. 2009. To what extent did Neanderthals and modern humans interact? Biological

Reviews 84:245-257.

Pennisi E. 2009. Tales of a prehistoric human genome. Science 323:866-871.

Caramelli D, et al. 2003. Evidence for a genetic discontinuity between Neandertals and 24,000-

year-old anatomically modern Europeans. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA

100:6593-6597.

Abbott A. 2003. Anthropologists cast doubt on human DNA evidence. Nature 423:468.

Barbujani G, Bertorelle G. 2003. Were Cro-Magnons too like us to tell? Nature 424:127.

 

March 16                                    Spring Break

 

March 23                                    Global Diversity Patterns                                   

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 9.

Bolnick DA. 2008. Individual ancestry inference and the reification of race as a biological

phenomenon. In: Koenig B, Lee S, Richardson S, editors. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. New

Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. pp 70-88.

Novembre J, et al. 2008. Genes mirror geography within Europe. Nature 456:98-101.

Long JC, Li J, Healy ME. 2009. Human DNA sequences: more variation and less race. American

Journal of Physical Anthropology 139:23-34.

Hunley KL, Healy ME, Long JC. 2009. The global pattern of gene identity variation reveals a

history of long range migrations, bottlenecks, and local mate exchange: implications for

biological race. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139:35-46.

DeGiorgio M, Jakobsson M, Rosenberg NA. 2009. Explaining worldwide patterns of human

genetic variation using a coalescent-based serial founder model of migration outward from

Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA 106:16057-16062.

The HUGO Pan-Asian SNP Consortium. 2009. Mapping human genetic diversity in Asia. Science

326:1541-1545.

 

March 30                                    Correlating Genes, Language, and Culture I: Population Expansions            

Exercise 3 Due

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapters 10 and 11.

Barbujani G, Chikhi L. 2006. DNAs from the European Neolithic. Heredity 97:84-85.

Schroeder KB, et al. 2007. A private allele ubiquitous in the Americas. Biology Letters 3:218-223.

O’Rourke DH. 2009. Human migrations: the two roads taken. Current Biology 19:R203-R205.

 

April 6                                                Correlating Genes, Language, and Culture II: Admixture                        

                                                                        Research Proposal Part I Due

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 12.

Hammer MF, et al. 2000. Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common

pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences

USA 97:6769-6774.

Fullwiley D. 2008. The biologistical construction of race: ‘admixture’ technology and the new

genetic medicine. Social Studies of Science 38:695-735.

Pena SDJ, et al. 2009. DNA tests probe the genomic ancestry of Brazilians. Brazilian Journal of

Medical and Biological Research 42:870-876. 

Halder I, et al. 2009. Measurement of admixture proportions and description admixture structure

in different U.S. populations. Human Mutation 30:1299-1309.

 

April 13                                                Phenotypic Variation and Adaptation                                   

Required Readings:

Human Evolutionary Genetics chapter 13.

Balter M. 2005. Are humans still evolving? Science 309:234-237.

Lamason RL, et al. 2005. SLC24A5, a putative cation exchanger, affects pigmentation in zebrafish

and humans. Science 310:1782-1786.

Gibbon A. 2007. European skin turned pale only recently, gene suggests. Science 316:364.

Culotta E. 2007. Ancient DNA reveals Neandertals with red hair, fair complexions. Science

318:546-547.

Yu L, et al. 2010. Adaptive evolution of digestive RNASE1 genes in leaf-eating monkeys

revisited: new insights from ten additional colobines. Molecular Biology and Evolution 27:121-131.

Surridge AK, Osorio D, Mundy NI. 2003. Evolution and selection of trichromatic vision in

primates. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution 18:198-205.

Verrelli BC, et al. 2008. Different selective pressures shape the molecular evolution of color

vision in chimpanzee and human populations. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25:2735-2743.

 

April 20                                                Topic/Readings to Be Determined

 

April 27                                                Student Presentations                                   

Final Research Proposal Due 

 

May 4                                                No Class (Dr. Bolnick at SAR conference)

 

 

 

 

ANT 348K • Human Variation

30510 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 301

 Anthropology 348K

HUMAN VARIATION

Spring 2007

 

Course Information:            Unique #30510

                                                                   MWF 2-3 pm, JES A307A

 

Course Instructor:    Dr. Deborah Bolnick                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 E-mail: deborah.bolnick@mail.utexas.edu

                    Phone: (512) 471-7532

                    Office Hours: EPS 1.106, Mondays 10am-12pm or by appointment

 

Teaching Assistant:                        Andrew Barr

                                                            E-mail: wabarr@gmail.com

                                             Office Hours: EPS 4.146, Wednesdays 3-5pm

 

Course Description:           

This course surveys the patterns of biological variation within and between human populations.  After covering the basic principles of genetics and evolutionary theory, we will examine the genetic, physical, and behavioral traits found in our species.  We will consider these traits from an anthropological and scientific perspective, and will discuss both the microevolutionary and cultural processes that have shaped these traits.  We will also explore how culture can influence our understanding of human biology, and we will discuss how studies of human variation have impacted society in the past and present.  For all topics (including controversial topics like race or sex differences), we will carefully and critically examine the scientific data that have been collected, as well as how these data have been interpreted in scientific journals and in the popular press.

 

Course Requirements:

1.        Midterm Exam 1 (20%).  The first midterm exam on Friday, October 2 will cover material presented in the lectures, discussions, films, and readings.  The exam format may include multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay questions.

2.       Midterm Exam 2 (20%).  The second midterm exam on Wednesday, November 4 will cover material presented in the lectures, discussions, films, and readings following the first midterm.  The exam format will be similar to that of the first midterm.

3.       Final Exam (20%).  The final exam on Wednesday, December 9 (9am-12pm) will be comprehensive, but with an emphasis on material presented in the last third of class.  Exam format will be similar to that of the midterms.

4.       Research Paper (20%).  The research paper (6-8 pages, double-spaced) will allow you to explore a relevant topic in more detail.  A paper outline and annotated bibliography (5%) will be due on Friday, October 16, and the research paper (15%) will be due on Friday, November 20.  Detailed instructions and topic suggestions will be handed out in September.

5.       Class Participation and Reading Responses (15%).  This portion of your grade will be based on your participation in class activities and discussions, which will be interspersed among the lectures.  Seven days will be devoted primarily to group discussion.  On these days, you are expected to have read the assigned readings BEFORE coming to class, and you will turn in a short (1 page, double-spaced) response to the readings at the beginning of class.

6. Genetics Assignment (5%). A take-home assignment will be due on Monday, October 26.

Required Readings:

1.  Marks, Jonathan. 1995. Human Biodiversity: Genes, Race, and History. Aldine de Gruyter.

2.  Mielke, James H., Lyle W. Konigsberg, and John H. Relethford. 2006. Human Biological

Variation. Oxford University Press.

3.             A packet of other required readings is available at Abel’s Copies (University Towers, 715D West

23rd Street, 472-5353).

 

Course Website: 

Class information, handouts, and a discussion forum will be available at the course website on Blackboard (http://www.courses.utexas.edu).  Course updates will also occasionally be sent to your university e-mail account.  Please check both regularly. 

 

Grading Policies:

If an assignment is turned in late, the assignment grade will be lowered by 10% for each day that the assignment is late.  If a serious issue (i.e. illness, family death, etc.) arises that may prevent you from attending class, turning in an assignment on time, or taking an exam, contact Dr. Bolnick by e-mail or telephone as soon as possible to discuss an assignment extension or to schedule a make-up exam.

 

Final letter grades will be assigned using the following scale: A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%),  D (60-69%), F (0-59%).  Plus/minus grades will be assigned.

 

Re-grading Policy:  If you believe that an exam or assignment has been graded incorrectly, submit a written request for a re-grade to Dr. Bolnick within one week of when the graded exam or assignment was returned.  The written request should include an explanation of your position and be attached to the graded exam or assignment.  If you suspect that a simple addition error has been made, speak to Dr. Bolnick to have the error corrected. 

 

Credit/No-Credit Policy:  To receive credit for this course if you enrolled on the pass/fail basis, you must 1) take the three exams, 2) turn in a research paper, and 3) receive the equivalent of a D or higher in this class.

 

Cheating/Plagiarism Policy:  If you cheat or plagiarize, the university guidelines for disciplinary action will be followed.  Any cheating or plagiarism will be reported to the Dean of Students and will result in failure of this course.  For more information, see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs (especially the sections on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Discipline Procedures).

 

Accommodations:  I encourage students with disabilities to meet with me at the beginning of the semester to discuss any needs.  Any student with a disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (in the Student Services Building; see http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd or call 471-6259 or TTY 471-4641 for more information).

 

Attendance:  I do not take formal attendance, but I am aware of who consistently comes to class and who does not.  Attendance is necessary to earn the points for class participation, and consistent attendance can help to raise your grade if you end up with a borderline final grade.  Whether or not you come to class, you are responsible for keeping up with what happens in class.
Schedule of Topics, Readings, and Important Dates:

   HB = Human Biodiversity book by Marks; HBV = Human Biological Variation book by Mielke et al.

 

Date                                                Topics and Due Dates (in bold)                                                                                     Readings                                   

W            Aug. 26                        Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

F             Aug. 28                        Science and the Study of Human Variation                                                            Marks (A), Marks (B)

 

M            Aug. 31                        History of Human Variation Studies I                                                                        HB ch. 1, 3

W            Sept. 2                        History of Human Variation Studies II                                                                        HB ch. 4

F            Sept. 4                        Racial Classifications and Human Biodiversity                                                HB ch. 6, 7

                                                                                                                       

M             Sept. 7                        NO CLASS (Labor Day)

W            Sept. 9                        Film: Race – The Power of an Illusion, Episode 1                                                HB ch. 9, Dupré

F            Sept. 11                        Film: Race – The Power of an Illusion, Episode 3

 

M            Sept. 14                        Problems with the Racial View of Human Diversity                        Goodman

W            Sept. 16                        Race as a Social Construct                                                                                                                        Fish, Lee

F            Sept. 18                        Discussion: Race, Biology, and Culture

Reading Response #1 Due

 

M            Sept. 21                        Race, Medicine, and Disease                                                                                                            HB ch. 11, Satel, Kahn

W            Sept. 23                        Genetic Basis of Human Variation                                                                                    HB pp. 29-33, Ramagopalan

F       Sept. 25              Folk Heredity and Eugenics                                                               HB ch. 5, Sinnott & Dunn

 

M            Sept. 28                        Film: Cracking the Code of Life, Part 1 

W            Sept. 30                        Review for Midterm Exam/Research Paper Directions

F            Oct. 2                        Midterm Exam 1

 

M            Oct. 5                        DNA, Mutation, and Genetic Variants                                                                        HBV ch. 2

W            Oct. 7                        From DNA to Phenotype                                                                                                                        HBV pp. 189-198

F            Oct. 9                        Discussion: Metaphors & Genetic Essentialism                                    Nelkin & Lindee                       

                                                            Reading Response #2 Due

 

M            Oct. 12                        Population Genetics                                                                                                                                                HBV ch. 3

W            Oct. 14                        Microevolutionary Forces I

F            Oct. 16                        Microevolutionary Forces II

Research Paper Outline/Bibliography Due

 

M            Oct. 19                        Reconstructing Population History                                                                                    HBV ch. 12

W            Oct. 21                        Discussion: Microevolution Case Studies                                                            Check, Schroeder et al.,

Reading Response #3 Due                                                  Salas et al.

F            Oct. 23                        Simple Genetic Traits I: Blood Group Variants                                    HBV ch. 4

 

M            Oct. 26                        Simple Genetic Traits II: Hemoglobin Variants                                    HBV ch. 6, pp. 131-135

Genetics Assignment Due

W            Oct. 28                        Film: Cracking the Code of Life, Part 2

F            Oct. 30                        Discussion: Contemporary Eugenics Issues                                                HB pp. 148-154, Rennie,

                                                            Reading Response #4 Due                                                                                                              Harmon

Date                                                Topics and Due Dates                                                                                                                          Readings                                   

M            Nov. 2                        Review for Midterm Exam

W            Nov. 4                        Midterm Exam 2

F            Nov. 6                        Complex Traits I: Human Body Form                                                                        HBV ch. 9, 10

 

 

M            Nov. 9                        Adaptation, Acclimatization, and Acclimation                             

Publications


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Raff JA, Bolnick DA. 2015. Does mitochondrial haplogroup X indicate ancient trans-Atlantic migration to the Americas? A critical re-evaluation. Paleoamerica 1:297-304. 

Smith RWA, Monroe C, Bolnick DA. 2015. Detection of cytosine methylation in ancient DNA from five Native American populations using bisulfite sequencing. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0125344.

Reynolds AW, Raff JA, Bolnick DA, Cook DC, Kaestle FA. 2015. Ancient DNA from the Schild site in Illinois: implications for the Mississippian transition in the Lower Illinois river valley. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156:434-448.

Tofanelli S, Brisighelli F, Anagnostou P, Busby G, Ferri G, Thomas M, Taglioli L, Rudan I, Zemunik T, Hayward C, Bolnick DA, Romano V, Cali F, Luiselli D, Shepherd GB, Tusa S, Facella A. 2015. The Greeks in the West: genetic signatures of the Hellenic colonization in southern Italy and Sicily. European Journal of Human Genetics. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015. 124 

Kemp BM, Lindo J, Bolnick DA, Malhi RS, Chatters JC. 2015. Response to Prüfer and Meyer comment on “Late Pleistocene human skeleton and mtDNA link Paleoamericans and modern Native Americans”. Science 347:835.

Fujimura JH, Bolnick DA, Rajagopalan R, Kaufman J, Lewontin RC, Duster T, Ossorio P, Marks J. 2014. Clines without classes: how to make sense of human variation. Sociological Theory 32:208-227. 

Chatters JC, Kennett DJ, Stafford TW, Asmerom Y, Kemp BM, Polyak V, Blank AN, Beddows P, Reinhart E, Arroyo-Cabrales J, Bolnick DA, Malhi RS, Erreguerena PL, Morell-Hart S, Rissollo D. 2014. Late Pleistocene human skeleton and mtDNA links Paleoamericans and modern Native Americans. Science 344:750-754. 

Kennett DJ, Asmerom Y, Kemp BM, Polyak V, Bolnick DA, Malhi RS, Culleton BJ. 2014. Early Americans: misstated results. Science 345:390.

Veilleux CC, Jacobs RL, Cummings ME, Louis EE, Bolnick DA. 2014. Opsin genes and visual ecology in a nocturnal folivorous lemur. International Journal of Primatology 35:88-107.

Raff JA, Bolnick DA. 2014. Genetic roots of the first Americans. Nature 506:162-163.

Villanea FA, Bolnick DA, Monroe C, Worl R, Cambra R, Leventhal A, Kemp BM. 2013. Evolution of a specific O allele (O1vG542A) supports unique ancestry of Native Americans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 151:649-657.

Veilleux CC, Louis EE, Bolnick DA. 2013. Nocturnal light environments influence color vision and signatures of selection on the OPN1SW opsin gene in nocturnal lemurs. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30:1420-1437.

Mata-Míguez J, Overholtzer L, Rodríguez-Alegría ER, Kemp BM, and Bolnick DA. 2012. The genetic impact of Aztec imperialism: ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence from Xaltocan, Mexico. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149:504-516.

Bolnick DA, Bonine HM, Mata-Miguez J, Kemp BM, Snow MH, LeBlanc SA. 2012. Non-destructive sampling of human skeletal remains yields ancient nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147:293-300. 

Raff JA*, Bolnick DA*, Tackney J, O’Rourke DH. 2011. Ancient DNA perspectives on American colonization and population history. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146:503-514.                                                               
* equal contribution; one of five most accessed articles in AJPA in 2011 

Lee SS, Bolnick DA, Duster T, Ossorio P, TallBear K. 2009. The illusive gold standard in genetic ancestry testing. Science 325:38-39.

Veilleux CC, Bolnick DA. 2009. Opsin gene polymorphism predicts trichromacy in a cathemeral lemur. American Journal of Primatology71:86-90. 

Bolnick DA. 2009. Comment on “Color, race, and genomic ancestry in Brazil: dialogues between anthropology and genetics” by Ricardo Santos et al. Current Anthropology 50:802-803.

Halverson MS, Bolnick DA. 2008. An ancient DNA test of a founder effect in Native American ABO blood group frequencies. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137:342-347.

Bolnick DA, Fullwiley D, Marks J, Reverby SM, Kahn J, TallBear K, Reardon J, Cooper RS, Duster T, Fujimura JH, Kaufman JS, Morning A, Nelson A, Ossorio P. 2008. Response to “The legitimacy of genetic ancestry tests” by Tony Frudakis. Science 319:1039-1040.    
[Reprinted in: Park ME, editor. 2009. Biological Anthropology: An Introductory Reader, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.]

Bolnick DA, Fullwiley D, Duster T, Cooper RS, Fujimura JH, Kahn J, Kaufman JS, Marks J, Morning A, Nelson A, Ossorio P, Reardon J, Reverby SM, TallBear K. 2007. The science and business of genetic ancestry testing. Science 318:399-400.    
[Reprinted in: Park ME, editor. 2009. Biological Anthropology: An Introductory Reader, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.]

Bolnick DA, Smith DG. 2007. Migration and social structure among the Hopewell: evidence from ancient DNA. American Antiquity 72:627-644. 

Kemp BM, Malhi RS, McDonough J, Bolnick DA, Eshleman JA, Rickards O, Martinez-Labarga C, Johnson JR, Lorenz JG, Dixon EJ, Fifield TE, Heaton TH, Worl R, Smith DG. 2007. Genetic analysis of early Holocene skeletal remains from Alaska and implications for the peopling of the Americas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132:605-621. 

Bolnick DA, Bolnick DI, Smith DG. 2006. Asymmetric male and female genetic histories among Native Americans from eastern North America. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23:2161-2174. 

Bolnick DA, Shook BAS, Campbell L, Goddard I. 2004. Problematic use of Greenberg’s linguistic classification of the Americas in studies of Native American genetic variation. American Journal of Human Genetics 75:519-522. 

Bolnick DA, Smith DG. 2003. Unexpected patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation among Native Americans from the southeastern United States. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 122:336-354. 

Weale ME*, Weiss DA*, Jager RF, Bradman N, Thomas MG. 2002. Y chromosome evidence for Anglo-Saxon mass migration. Molecular Biology and Evolution 19:1008-1021.                * indicates equal contribution 

Malhi RS, Eshleman JA, Greenberg JA, Weiss DA, Schultz BA, Kemp BM, Kaestle FA, Lorenz JG, Johnson JR, Smith DG. 2002. The structure of diversity within New World mitochondrial DNA haplogroups: implications for the prehistory of North America. American Journal of Human Genetics 70:905-919. 

Wilson JF, Weiss DA, Richards M, Thomas MG, Bradman N, Goldstein DB. 2001. Genetic evidence for different male and female roles during cultural transitions in the British Isles. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences USA 98:5078-5083. 

Nebel A, Filon D, Weiss DA, Weale M, Faerman M, Oppenheim A, Thomas MG. 2000. High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews. Human Genetics 107:630-641. 

Thomas MG, Parfitt T, Weiss DA, Skorecki K, Wilson JF, Roux M, Bradman N, Goldstein DB. 2000. Y chromosomes traveling south: the Cohen modal haplotype and the origins of the Lemba – the “black Jews of Southern Africa.” American Journal of Human Genetics 66:674-686.

 

Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Edited Volumes

Feder KL, Barnhart TA, Bolnick DA, Lepper BT. In press. Lessons learned from Lost Civilizations. In: Card JJ, Anderson DS, editors. Lost City, Found Pyramid: Understanding Alternative Archaeologies and Pseudoscientific Practices. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 

Bolnick DA. 2011. Continuity and change in anthropological perspectives on migration: insights from molecular anthropology. In: Cabana GS, Clark JJ, editors. Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration. pp 263-277. 

Bolnick DA. 2008. Individual ancestry inference and the reification of race as a biological phenomenon. In: Koenig B, Lee S, Richardson S, editors. Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. pp 70-88.    
[Reprinted in: Machery E, Downes S, editors. 2013. Arguing about Human Nature. New York: Routledge. pp 386-396.]

 

Popular Articles (Not Peer-Reviewed) 

Bolnick DA, Feder KL, Lepper BT, Barnhart TA. 2012. Civilizations lost and found: fabricating history. Part 3: real messages in DNA. Skeptical Inquirer 36:48-51. 

Lepper BT, Feder KL, Barnhart TA, Bolnick DA. 2011. Civilizations lost and found: fabricating history. Part 2: false messages in stone. Skeptical Inquirer 35:48-54. 

Feder KL, Lepper BT, Barnhart TA, Bolnick DA. 2011. Civilizations lost and found: fabricating history. Part 1: an alternate reality. Skeptical Inquirer 35:38-45. 

Bolnick DA. 2009. Ancient DNA from Hopewell sites in Ohio and Illinois. Hopewell Happenings: 7.  (Annual Newsletter of the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park) 

TallBear K, Bolnick DA. 2004. “Native American DNA” tests: what are the risks for tribes? The Native Voice, December 3-17.  
[Reprinted in: Darnovsky M and Obasogie O, editors. In press (2016). Beyond Bioethics: Toward a New Biopolitics. Berkeley: University of California Press.]

 

Under Contract

Bolnick DA, Miró-Herrans AT, Raff JA, Reynolds AW, Springs LC. Under contract [2016]. Native American genomics and population histories. Annual Review of Anthropology. (Invited submission) 

Relethford JH, Bolnick DA. Under contract. Reflections of the Past: How Human History is Revealed in Our Genes. Second edition. Westview Press.

Research


Research in the Bolnick Genomic Anthropology Lab bridges anthropology and genetics, and falls into four categories:

  1. Studies of Genomic Diversity and Population History in the Americas
  2. Paleoepigenetic Research
  3. Research on Genetic Ancestry, Race, and ELSI Issues
  4. Additional Research Projects  

See below for more information about each area of research. 

 


Studies of Genomic Diversity and Population History in the Americas

Patterns of human genetic variation can yield important insights into the evolutionary history and current population structure of our species. In our research, we examine patterns of variation across the entire genome as well as in targeted genomic regions, such as the maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA, paternally-inherited Y chromosome, and specific autosomal loci (ex. ABO blood group and immune genes). In collaboration with biologists, anthropologists from a variety of subdisciplines, and members of indigenous communities, we look for genetic signatures of the evolutionary, demographic, and cultural factors that have shaped human biodiversity and population history in the Americas.

Current Research Projects:

– characterizing genome-wide diversity patterns in ancient and/or contemporary populations from the Alaskan North Slope, the Midwestern and Southern United States, central Mexico, coastal Belize, and northwestern Argentina

– reconstructing region-specific population histories and changes in the Native American gene pool over time

– testing archaeological and ethnohistorical hypotheses about migration, population replacement, and other demographic changes in ancient times
   (ex. did the expansion and collapse of the Toltec, Tepanec, and Aztec states in central Mexico have a demographic and genetic impact on local populations?)

– evaluating whether sociocultural and evolutionary changes over the last millenium altered the genetic structure of Native American populations

– assessing the impact of European contact and colonial practices on genomic diversity in the Americas
   (e.g., how did post-contact selection, migration (admixture), and genetic drift affect genetic variation across the genome, including at immune genes and HLA loci?)

– analyzing ancient DNA from early (pre-8000 BP) human inhabitants of North and South America to investigate the initial peopling of the Americas 

- reconstructing kinship relationships among individuals from the same burial population

 


Paleoepigenetic Research

In addition to analyzing variation in the DNA itself, we also look at chemical modifications to DNA (cytosine methylation) that influence when genes are expressed. Studies of contemporary populations have shown that certain life experiences influence epigenetic patterns, so analysis of these patterns in ancient DNA (paleoepigenetics) may help us reconstruct individual experiences in ancient human societies. We are currently working to (a) reconstruct genome-wide epigenetic patterns in a pre-Hispanic population from the central Peruvian Andes, (b) assess the DNA-level effects of trauma, violence, and famine experienced by some members of this society, and (c) evaluate how social inequalities mediated the epigenetic consequences of traumatic experiences in the ancient world. This project has the potential to provide important new insights into the lives of individuals in ancient times.

 


Research on Genetic Ancestry, Race, and ELSI Issues

Genetic ancestry inference has emerged as an important area of study over the last 15 years, and it has given rise to a profitable commercial industry. We have investigated how genetic ancestry testing influences and is influenced by American understandings of race, ethnicity, and identity, both in scientific studies and in commercial tests marketed to the public. We also evaluate what these studies/tests convey about human biodiversity, race, and the evolutionary history of our species. More generally, we are also interested in the ethical, legal, social, and political implications of genetic research.

 


Additional Research Projects

We contribute to a variety of additional research projects, partly through our collaborations with others who want to incorporate genetic or ancient DNA analyses into their research. For example, we have used ancient DNA analyses to investigate the dietary content of human paleofeces (coprolites) from the U.S. Southwest. In another project, we have investigated the evolution of color vision and the pattern of opsin (visual pigment) gene variation in nocturnal lemurs.

 


 

 

Labs


Ancient DNA Lab 

Location:  PAT 417
Phone Number:  512.232.4139

Modern DNA/Post-PCR Lab

Location:  SAC 5.168
Phone Number:  512.471.2781

Lab Members


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Aida Miro-Hérrans
Dr. Carrie Veilleux
Dr. Ryan Schmidt

Graduate Students

Jaime Mata-Míguez (Anthropology)
Rick Smith (Anthropology)     
Lauren Springs (Anthropology)
Austin Reynolds (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior)
 

Undergraduates

Sana Saboowala
Christine Ku
Samantha Archer
 


Former Lab Members

Dr. Jennifer Raff, Postdoctoral Researcher (2013-2015); now Assistant 
      Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas
Melissa Halverson, Graduate Student (M.A. 2006)
Olivia Starich, Undergraduate
Robert Vandevere, Undergraduate
Krystin Samms, Undergraduate
Kelly Manrriquez, Undergraduate
Mareike Janiak, Undergraduate
Kelly Chapman, Undergraduate
Maeve Cavanaugh, Undergraduate
Jenna Strawbridge, Undergraduate
Blake Kincaid, Undergraduate
Brianne Herrera, Undergraduate
Julie Perez, Undergraduate

 

 

Lab News


December 2015

- Rick Smith's paleoepigenetic research is highlighted in Nautilus magazine
 

November 2015

- Rick Smith and Deborah Bolnick organize two sessions on "Identity, Belonging, and the Biopolitics of DNA in Colonial Modernity" at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting

- Rick Smith, Lauren Springs, and Deborah Bolnick present at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting

- Jennifer Raff and Deborah Bolnick publish an article on "Does Mitochondrial Haplogroup X Indicate Ancient Trans-Atlantic Migration to the Americas? A Critical Re-evaluation" in Paleoamerica (Raff and Bolnick 2015)

- Ryan Schmidt joins the Bolnick Lab as a postdoctoral researcher

- Jaime Mata-Míguez is awarded the 2015-2016 Rhonda L. Andrews Memorial Award from the UT Department of Anthropology

October 2015

- Deborah Bolnick presents at the IPinCH symposium on "DNA and Indigeneity: the Changing Role of Genetics in Indigenous Rights, Tribal Belonging, and Repatration"

- Jaime Mata-Míguez's research is highlighted in the UT College of Liberal Arts Annual Impact Report (on p. 30)

- Rick Smith presents at the 2015 Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists annual meeting and wins the student prize for the best podium presentation

- Bolnick Lab hosts a genetics and STEM workshop for Hispanic high school students from Hart, TX

- Rick Smith is awarded a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant 
 

September 2015

- Austin Reynolds is awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the UT EEB Graduate Program 
 

August 2015

- Jennifer Raff begins her new position as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas

- Jennifer Raff and colleagues publish an article on “Mitochondrial Diversity of Inupiat People from the Alaskan North Slope Provides Evidence for the Origins of the Paleo- and Neo-Eskimo Peoples” in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Raff et al. 2015)
  

July 2015

- Aida Miró-Herrans and Austin Reynolds present at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution annual meeting

- Lauren Springs presents at the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium
  

June 2015

- Rick Smith gives an invited talk at the Christian Scholars' Conference

- The PNAS Journal Club Blog and other media sources cover Smith et al.’s PLOS ONE article on ancient epigenetics
  

May 2015

- Rick Smith, Deborah Bolnick, and Cara Monroe (Washington State University) publish an article on “Detection of Cytosine Methylation in Ancient DNA from Five Native American Populations Using Bisulfite Sequencing” in PLOS ONE  (Smith et al. 2015)
  

April 2015

- Jennifer Raff publishes a review of Nicholas Wade’s A Troublesome Inheritance in Human Biology
  

March 2015

- Austin Reynolds, Jennifer Raff, Deborah Bolnick, and colleagues publish an article on “Ancient DNA from the Schild Site in Illinois: Implications for the Mississippian Transition in the Lower Illinois River Valley” in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology  (Reynolds et al. 2015)

- Jaime Mata-Míguez, Jennifer Raff, Aida Miró-Herrans, and Deborah Bolnick present at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) annual meeting

- Jaime Mata-Míguez wins the Outstanding Student Poster Award from the American Association of Anthropological Genetics for his presentation at the AAPA meeting

- Rick Smith presents at the New Directions in Anthropology conference
  

December 2014

- Jennifer Raff and colleagues publish an article on “Comparative Analysis of the Human Saliva Microbiome from Different Climate Zones: Alaska, Germany, and Africa” in BMC Microbiology (Li et al. 2014)
  

November 2014

- Rick Smith is interviewed on Native American Calling as part of their episode on Epigenetics and Historical Trauma
  

October 2014

- Jennifer Raff presents at the Texas Archaeological Society annual meeting

- Deborah Bolnick and colleagues publish an article on “Clines Without Classes: How to Make Sense of Human Variation” in Sociological Theory (Fujimura et al. 2014)
  

August 2014

- Aida Miró-Herrans is awarded a NSF SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  

July 2014

- Jaime Mata-Míguez is interviewed about his ancient DNA research on Efervesciencia on Galician Public Radio (Spain)
  

June 2014

- the Bolnick Lab hosts the Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics at UT

- Lauren Springs and colleagues publish an article on “Murder Bottles, Grey Matter and Treasure: Results of the 2012 Field Season on St. George’s Caye” in Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology (Garber et al. 2014)
  

May 2014

- Deborah Bolnick and colleagues publish an article on “Late Pleistocene Human Skeleton and mtDNA Links Paleoamericans and Modern Native Americans” in Science  (Chatters et al. 2014)
  

April 2014

- Jaime Mata-Míguez, Austin Reynolds, Rick Smith, and Deborah Bolnick present at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting

- Lauren Springs, Jaime Mata-Míguez, and Deborah Bolnick present at the Sociey for American Archaeology annual meeting
  

March 2014

- Jaime Mata-Míguez is awarded a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
  

February 2014

- Jennifer Raff and Deborah Bolnick publish a News and Views article in Nature on “Genetic Roots of the First Americans” (Raff and Bolnick 2014)

- Carrie Veilleux, Deborah Bolnick, and colleagues publish an article on “Opsin Genes and Visual Ecology in a Nocturnal Folivorous Lemur” in the International Journal of Primatology (Veilleux et al. 2014)
  

January 2014

- Aida Miró-Herrans joins the Bolnick Lab as a postdoctoral researcher

October 2013

- Jaime Mata-Míguez awarded a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
  

August 2013

- Deborah Bolnick and colleagues publish an article on “Evolution of a Specific O Allele (O1vG542A) Supports Unique Ancestry of Native Americans” in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Villanea et al. 2013)

- Deborah Bolnick teaches at the Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics, held at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  

June 2013

- Lauren Springs publishes an article in the Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology on “Results of the skeletal analysis for the 2011 St. George’s Caye archaeological field season”
  

April 2013

- Rick Smith, Carrie Veilleux, and Deborah Bolnick present at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting
  

March 2013

- Carrie Veilleux, Deborah Bolnick, and Edward Louis (Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo) publish an article on “Nocturnal Light Environments Influence Color Vision and Signatures of Selection on the OPN1SW Opsin Gene in Nocturnal Lemurs” in Molecular Biology and Evolution (Veilleux et al. 2013)