Headshot portrait of Om Jahagirdar - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Engineering
Mentor: Hunter Fraser (Biology)

“Identifying Novel Instances of Cultural-Genetic Coevolution”

Cultural-genetic coevolution refers to the development of local cultural practices alongside local genetic adaptations to diverse diets, pathogens, altitudes, temperatures, and other environmental factors. Utilizing sequencing data from 120 publications, novel methods for assessing genomic variation, and the Ethnographic Atlas, Om has developed a high-resolution genetic-cultural global database including 6,375 unique individuals. Om will further develop a computational workflow to identify instances and trends of cultural-genetic coevolution utilizing a statistical framework. Gained insights will help paint a more complete picture of human evolution, understand the drivers of population phenotypic diversity, and compensate for Eurocentric data-driven practices in today's globalized world.