Life history theory (LHT) provides fundamental means to understanding adaptive evolution across the animal kingdom, including in our own lineage. Although observational studies have found plenty of support for the predictions of LHT in human populations, connecting traits such as birthweight and adult body size to age of menarche and menopause as well as disease risk, the fundamental biological mechanisms linking many of these traits are poorly understood. Here I propose, for the first time, to bring together matching genotype and phenotype data from two large national biobanks and state of the art statistical tools and genetic databases to formally investigate the extent to which the observational links between reproductive and anthropometric traits can be explained by pleiotropy and/or shared genetic pathways as well as the extent to which these pathways have been subject to natural selection over the past 10,000 years. The proposed interdisciplinary project, carried out at the Institute of Genomics, at University of Tartu (IGUT) will enable me to learn advanced techniques in association mapping as well as management of a project involving biobank and other clinical data under the supervision of experienced researchers at statistical and medical genomics. As such, the project provides an outstanding launchpad for the next stage in my research career at the intersection of evolutionary and medical genomics as an independent group leader.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme