Dr Jason Hodgson

Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics and Big Data

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Research Supervision:Yes

Jason is an anthropologist and evolutionary geneticist. His research employs population genomics and bioinformatics to understand human and primate evolution. He is currently investigating the role that cultural practices have played in driving biological evolution in the people of Madagascar.

Email: jason.hodgson@aru.ac.uk

Google Scholar

Background

Jason joined Anglia Ruskin in March 2022. He received his PhD in Biological Anthropology from New York University in 2012. He then served as a post doctoral researcher at Penn State and Cambridge Universities, and lecturer at Imperial College London and Cambridge University.

Jason’s research focuses on human and primate evolutionary genetics, and incorporates population genetics, bioinformatics, and anthropological fieldwork. He is currently focused on two primary projects. First, he is investigating the role of cultural behaviours in driving biological evolution in the people of Madagascar, in collaboration with researchers at Cambridge University, and the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. Second, he is investigating how environmental change through time and space influenced the spread of farming peoples into Europe during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.

Research interests

  • Human evolution
  • Primate evolution
  • The role of culture in human evolution

Areas of research supervision

  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Population genetics
  • Anthropological genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Human and primate evolution

Teaching

  • Mathematics and statistics for bioinformatics
  • Introduction to software engineering

Qualifications

PhD, Biological Anthropology, New York University
MPhil, Biological Anthropology, Cambridge University
BS, Evolutionary Anthropology, Rutgers University

Memberships, editorial boards

Visiting researcher, Evolutionary Ecology Group, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Selected recent publications

2021. Orkin JD, Montague MJ, Tejada-Martinez D, de Manuel M, del Campo J, Cheves Hernandez S, Di Fiore A, Fontsere C, Hodgson JA, Janiak MC, Kuderna LFK, Lizano E, Martin MP, Nimura Y, Perry GH, Soto Valverde C, Tang J, Warren WC, de Magalhaes JP, Kawamura SJ, Marques-Bonet T, Krawetz R, & Melin AD. The genomics of ecological flexibility, large brains, and long lives in capuchin monkeys revealed with fecalFACS. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 118 (7) e2010632118

2017. Savolainen V & Hodgson JA. The evolution of homosexuality. In The Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Shackelford TK & Weekes-Shackelford V. Eds. Springer. 1-8

2016. Hodgson JA. A genomic investigation of the Malagasy confirms the Highland/Coastal divide, and the lack of Middle Eastern gene flow. in Early Africa-Indian Ocean World Exchange, Gwyn Campbell ed. Palgrave MacMillan. 231-254

2014. Hodgson JA, Pickrell JK, Pearson LN, Quillen EE, Prista A, Rocha J, Soodyall H, Shriver MD, & Perry GH. Natural selection for the Duffy-null allele in the recently admixed people of Madagascar. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281 (1789): 20140930

2014. Hodgson JA, Mulligan CJ, Al-Meeri A, & Raaum RL. Early Back-to-Africa Migration into the Horn of Africa. PLoS Genetics. 10(6): e1004393

2014. Pozzi L, Hodgson JA, Burrell AS, Sterner KN, Raaum RL, & Disotell,TR. Primate phylogenetic relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 165-183

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited talks

2019. Why do Trump voters and the elite Merina people of Madagascar have low genetic diversity? The role of culture in human biological evolution. The Larmor Society, St. Johns College, Cambridge, UK.

2019. Why do Trump voters and the elite Merina people of Madagascar have low genetic diversity? The role of culture in human biological evolution. Anglia Ruskin University, UK.

2019. The roles of migration and demography in ongoing human evolution. Centre for Ecology and Evolution, spring symposium, Roehampton University, UK.

2018. Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, Cambridge University, Cambridge UK.

2015. The role of mate choice in human genetic and phenotypic diversity. Center for Ecology and Evolution Symposium, The Linaean Society, London UK

2015. The role of local adaptation, migration, and mate choice in recent human evolution. Dept. of Anthropology, University College London, UK.

2015. The role of local adaptation, migration, and mate choice in recent human evolution. School of Life Sciences, Warwick University, UK

2014. Human genetic variation, and gene flow between distantly related populations. Dept. of Biology, Sevenoaks Sixth Form School, Sevenoaks, UK

2014. Local adaptation and gene flow: The role of natural selection in recently admixed human groups. Natural History Museum, London, UK

2014. Local adaptation and gene flow: The role of natural selection in recently admixed human groups. Dept. of Biological Anthropology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK

2013. The Madagascar Melting Pot: Genetic Exchange Across the Indian Ocean. Indian Ocean World Center Workshop: East Africa and Early Trans-Indian Ocean World Interchange. MacGill University, Montreal, Canada.