Alan R. Rogers

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Episodes of population growth and decline leave characteristic signatures in the distribution of nucleotide (or restriction) site differences between pairs of individuals. These signatures appear in histograms showing the relative frequencies of pairs of individuals who differ by i sites, where i = 0, 1, .... In this distribution an episode of growth(More)
Expansions of population size leave characteristic signatures in mitochondrial "mismatch distributions." Consequently, these distributions can inform us about the history of changes in population size. Here, I study a simple model of population history that assumes that, t generations before the present, a population grows (or shrinks) suddenly from female(More)
Most social scientists would agree that the capacity for human culture was probably fashioned by natural selection, but they disagree about the implications of this supposition. Some believe that natural selection imposes important constraints on the ways in which culture can vary, while others believe that any such constraints must be negligible. This(More)
Patterns of gene differences among humans contain information about the demographic history of our species. Haploid loci like mitochondrial DNA and the nonrecombining part of the Y chromosome show a pattern indicating expansion from a population of only several thousand during the late middle or early upper Pleistocene. Nuclear short tandem repeat loci also(More)
Parasites can be used as unique markers to investigate host evolutionary history, independent of host data. Here we show that modern human head lice, Pediculus humanus, are composed of two ancient lineages, whose origin predates modern Homo sapiens by an order of magnitude (ca. 1.18 million years). One of the two louse lineages has a worldwide distribution(More)
This is a review of genetic evidence about the ancient demography of the ancestors of our species and about the genesis of worldwide human diversity. The issue of whether or not a population size bottleneck occurred among our ancestors is under debate among geneticists as well as among anthropologists. The bottleneck, if it occurred, would confirm the(More)
We have examined differences in diversity at 60 microsatellite loci among human population samples from three major continental groups to evaluate the hypothesis of greater African diversity in this rapidly evolving class of loci. Application of a statistical test that assumes equal mutation rates at all loci fails to demonstrate differences in(More)
To test hypotheses about the origin of modern humans, we analyzed mtDNA sequences, 30 nuclear restriction-site polymorphisms (RSPs), and 30 tetranucleotide short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphisms in 243 Africans, Asians, and Europeans. An evolutionary tree based on mtDNA displays deep African branches, indicating greater genetic diversity for African(More)
We have analyzed 35 widely distributed, polymorphic Alu loci in 715 individuals from 31 world populations. The average frequency of Alu insertions (the derived state) is lowest in Africa (.42) but is higher and similar in India (.55), Europe (.56), and Asia (.57). A comparison with 30 restriction-site polymorphisms (RSPs) for which the ancestral state has(More)
Molecular genetic-data have greatly improved our ability to test hypotheses about human evolution. During the past decade, a large amount of nuclear and mitochondrial data have been collected from diverse human populations. Taken together, these data indicate that modern humans are a relatively young species. African populations show the largest amount of(More)