- 2019–Present: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology and UCL
- 2018–2019: MRes Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London
- 2018: Research Assistant, University of Oxford
- 2017: Research Assistant, University of California, Riverside
- 2014–2017: BA Biological Sciences, University of Oxford
ResearchGate Harrison Ostridge
Google Scholar Harrison Ostridge
I am interested in how we can use population genomics to investigate the evolutionary and demographic history of populations. I am also very passionate about the conservation of endangered species. My PhD marries these two, using population genomics to investigate demographic and evolutionary processes in a particularly important and charismatic endangered species, the chimpanzee.
Chimpanzees are endangered and their numbers continue to decline. Population genomics has improved our understanding of the long-term demographic and adaptive history of chimpanzees but very little is known about recent changes in population size and genetic adaptation to local environments. Recent population size trends are important for the assessment of endangered populations while patterns of local adaptation can inform the conservation of adaptive genetic diversity and identify key environmental pressures influencing survival and reproduction. I am analysing an emerging dataset of 800 exomes from wild chimpanzees at known locations across the range of all four subspecies. I will be using new linkage disequilibrium-based methods to infer recent (<100 generations) changes in effective population size. Pathogen-driven selection, particularly SIVcpz (the precursor to HIV-1), will be investigated by identifying highly differentiated loci at immunity and SIV-related genes. Environmental data from each sample location will be integrated into the analysis to identify loci under selection and the environmental variables responsible. Approximate Bayesian computation will allow detailed investigation of the evolutionary history of key loci, allowing us to infer the age, strength and mode of selective sweeps. Together, these methods provide a more complete picture of demography and local adaptation in chimpanzees.
Sepil, I., Hopkins, B.R., Dean, R., Bath, E., Friedman, S., Swanson, B., Ostridge, H.J., Harper, L., Buehner, N.A., Wolfner, M.F., Konietzny, R., Thézénas, M.L., Sandhama, E., Charles, P., Fischer, R., Steinhauer, J., Kessler, B.M. and Wigby, S., 2020. Male reproductive aging arises via multifaceted mating-dependent sperm and seminal proteome declines, but is postponable in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Website links https://wp.cs.ucl.ac.uk/evol-genome/