Department of Genetics and Genome Biology

Professor Mark Jobling's projects

We are interested in patterns of human genetic diversity, and how these are influenced by population-level processes including migration, social organisation, language and culture, as well as fundamental genome-level processes of mutation, copy number variation, gene conversion and recombination. Our work has a translational aspect in forensic genetics and genomics.

We have focused on the diversity of the non-recombining region of the paternally-inherited Y chromosome, including the application of next-generation sequencing to human Y diversity, and also to understanding the relationships of human and great-ape sex chromosomes. Comparisons with maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA provide information about sex-biased population processes, and we are also studying the haplotype block structure of the autosomal and X-chromosomal genome.

Our current population studies are on Western Europe and the British Isles in particular, including patrilineal surnames as cultural markers of male co-ancestry. We also have an interest in population structure in Middle Eastern countries. We collaborate with colleagues in History, Archaeology and English in a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the human past.

Recent forensically-relevant research has focused on the effects of social and geographical structure on genetic diversity, the application of next-generation sequencing to forensic DNA analysis, and studies of diversity in domestic and wild animal species with relevance to criminal casework and conservation genetics.

PhD projects are offered in these general areas; applicants are encouraged to think of projects that would match their own areas of interest and complement our other activities. Please contact me for further information or to discuss project ideas.


Jobling, M.A., Hollox, E.J., Hurles, M.E., Kivisild, T. and Tyler-Smith, C. (2013) Human Evolutionary Genetics, 2nd edn., 670 pp., Garland Science, New York and London.

Batini, C., et al. (2015) Large-scale recent expansion of European patrilineages shown by population resequencing. Nature Commun., 6: 7152.

Balaresque, P., et al. (2015) Y-chromosome descent clusters and male differential reproductive success: Young lineage expansions dominate Asian pastoral nomadic populations. Eur. J. Hum. Genet., 23: 1413-1422.

Hallast, P., et al. (2016) Great-ape Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA phylogenies reflect sub-species structure and patterns of mating and dispersal. Genome Res., 26: 427-439.

Jobling, M.A., Rasteiro, R., and Wetton, J.H. (2016) In the blood: the myth and reality of genetic markers of identity. Ethnic Racial Stud., 39: 142-161.

Ottolini, B., et al. (2016) Application of a mitochondrial DNA control region frequency database for UK domestic cats. Forensic Sci. Internat. Genet., 27: 149-155.

Jobling, M.A. and Tyler-Smith, C. (2017) Human Y chromosome variation in the genome sequencing era. Nature Rev. Genet., 18: 485–497.

Khubrani, Y.M., Wetton, J.H. and Jobling, M.A. (2017) Extensive geographical and social structure in the paternal lineages of Saudi Arabia revealed by analysis of 27 Y-STRs. Forensic Sci. Int. Genet., 3: 98–105.


Professor Mark Jobling
+44 (0)116 252 3377

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