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Department of Genetics



Liisa’s research is focussed the evolution of complex human traits. She is a broadly trained evolutionary geneticist, with her first degree in Biological Anthropology (U. Kent), an MSc in Human Evolution from UCL, and doctoral studies at the Research Laboratory for Archaeological Science at U. Oxford. During her postgraduate studies Liisa developed several analytical methods to quantify past levels of mobility and infer past genetic selection and other evolutionary processes using genetic data from archaeological and fossil specimens (also known as ancient DNA). 

In her current position as a Herchel Smith Research Fellow at the Department of Genetics, Liisa will combine ancient DNA and archaeological data with statistical modelling to study the evolution of human height and how it has changed over time in Europe in response to genetic, cultural and environmental factors such as diet and pathogen exposure.


Key publications: 

Loog, L.*, Thomas, M.G., Barnett, R., Allen, R., Sykes, N., Paxinos, P.D., Lebrasseur, O., Dobney, K., Peters, J., Manica, A. Larson, G.* and Eriksson, A.*, 2017. “Inferring allele frequency trajectories from ancient DNA indicates that selection on a chicken gene coincided with changes in medieval husbandry practices” Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34(8):1981-1990 (doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx142)

Loog, L.*, Lahr, M.M., Kovacevic, M., Manica, A., Eriksson, A. and Thomas, M.G.*, 2017. “Estimating mobility using sparse data: Application to human genetic variation” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(46):12213-12218 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1703642114)

Alves, J.M.*, Carneiro, M., Cheng, J.Y., Lemos de Matos, A., Rahman, M.M., Loog, L., Campos, P.F., Wales, N., Eriksson, A., Manica, A., Strive, T., Graham, S.C., Afonso, S., Bell, D.J., Belmont, L., Day, J.P., Fuller, S.J., Marchandeau, S., Palmer, W.J., Queney, G., Surridge, A.K., Vieira, F.G., McFadden, G., Nielsen, R., Gilbert, M.T.P., Esteves, P.J., Ferrand*, N., Jiggins, F.M.*,2019. “Parallel adaptation of rabbit populations to myxoma virus” Science363 (6433): 1319-1326 (doi: 10.1126/science.aau7285)

Loog, L.*, Larson, G. 2020. “Ancient DNA”, in Richards, M, & Britton, K. (ed.) Archaeological Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (doi: 10.1017/9781139013826)

Loog, L.*, Thalmann, O., Sinding, M-H.S., Schuenemann, V.J., Perri, A., Germonpré, M., Bocherens, H., Witt, K.E., Castruita, J.A.S., Velasco, M.S., Lundstrøm, I.K.C., Wales, N., Sonet, G., Frantz, L., Schroeder, H., Budd, J., Jimenez, E-L., Fedorov, S., Gasparyan B, Kandel, A.W., Lázničková-Galetová, M., Napierala, H., Uerpmann, H-P., Nikolskiy, P.A., Pavlova, E.Y., Pitulko, V.V., Herzig, K-H., Malhi, R.S., Willerslev, E., Hansen, A.J., Dobney, K., Gilbert, M.T.P., Krause, J., Larson, G.*, Eriksson, A.*, Manica, A.*, 2019. “Modern wolves trace their origin to a late Pleistocene expansion from Beringia” Molecular Ecology (doi: 10.1111/mec.15329)

Schlebusch, C.M.*; Loog, L.*; Groucutt, H.S.; King, T.; Rutherford, A.; Barbieri, C.; Barbujani, G.; Chikhi, L.; Jakobsson, M.; Eriksson, A.; Manica, A.; Tishkoff, S.A.; Scerri, E.M.; Scally, A.; Brierley, C.; Thomas, M.G.* "Human Origins in Southern African Palaeo-wetlands? Strong Claims from Weak Evidence" Preprints 2019, 2019110193 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0193.v1).

* = corresponding authors

Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Fellow : Scally Group
Dr Liisa  Loog
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Department of Genetics
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
United Kingdom
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