Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Charlesworth, Brian
Location University of Edinburgh
Primary Field Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Field Genetics
 Election Citation
Charlesworth has become a major figure in population genetics by empirical and theoretical studies of effects of inbreeding, evolution of mating systems and of recombination rates, including the explanation of loss of genes from the Y chromosome. His broad and deep work makes him a leader of the field.
 Research Interests
My current research focusses on the application of population genetics theory to the analysis and interpretation of data on molecular variation and evolution. I have been particularly interested in the consequences of differences in rates of genetic recombination across the genome on the efficacy of natural selection and on levels of genetic variation. This involves modeling of both selective sweeps (in which new favorable mutations affect allele frequencies at linked sites) and background selection (in which selection against rare deleterious mutations reduces variants at linked sites). Recently, my coworkers and I have shown that the neglected process of associative overdominance forms part of a continuum with background selection, and may be influencing patterns of genetic variation in low recombination genomic regions. Currently, my collaborators and I are investigating how interactions between selection at linked sites, recombination rate and population size changes may influence patterns of genetic variation within populations.

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