Population history of Peru

Population history of Peru:

We are investigating genetic diversity in prehistoric and present-day human populations of the South-central Andes. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Beatriz Lizarraga of San Marcos University in Lima, Peru and Veronica Rubin de Celis Massa of Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru. The general aim of this research is to survey mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome and short tandem repeat loci in populations in Peru and investigate the patterning of genetic diversity in comparison with geographic and linguistic patterns. (BCS #0401434)

The Peruvian Andes was home to multiple major civilization centers of the pre-contact Americas, and contemporary peoples in this region retain a large reservoir of Native American genomic diversity. Our investigation examines fine-scale patterns of genetic diversity in traditional populations from the Central Andes to: (1) characterize their demographic history, (2) identify candidate loci under natural selection, and (3) understand how genomic architecture and admixture influence reproductive fitness in a high altitude environment. Characterizing genetic structure in Andean populations has the potential to uncover rare genetic variation of biological and evolutionary importance. Our research focuses on generating high-resolution genome wide data to elucidate local patterns of population structure, critically reassess existing models for the original peopling of the Andes, and provide a better understanding of how ancient demographic processes shaped the genetic diversity of indigenous Peruvians. This work also seeks to identify signatures of selection in order to understand how micro-evolutionary processes lead to genetic and phenotypic adaptation in a high altitude environment.

This project is in collaboration with Dr. Andrés Moreno-Estrada of the Laboratorio Nacional de Genomica para la Biodiversidad  (LANGEBIO-Cinvestav) in Irapuato, Mexico (insert link here please:,  Dr. Beatriz Lizarraga of San Marcos University in Lima, Peru, and Dr. Veronica Rubin de Celis Massa of Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Peru (insert link here:  Current funding for this work is provided by the National Science Foundation SBE Postdoctoral Fellowship (Award #1711982 to MANC) (insert link here: This research expands upon previous work from our lab funded by NSF grant BCS #0401434 to ACS.