Darwin Evolving: Distinguished Naturalists

Dr. Sarah Tishkoff May 6, 2009

Sarah Tishkoff

"Evolution and Adaptation in Africa"

Africa is a region of tremendous cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity. New genomic tools applied to the study of genetic variation across ethnically and geographically diverse African populations reveals much about human evolutionary history in Africa and the co-evolution of genetic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. Specifically, understanding the genetic basis of milk digestion (lactose tolerance) in African populations has implications for the origins and spread of pastoralism in that region.


David and Lyn Silfen University Associate Professor, Departments of Genetics and Biology, University of Pennsylvania. Featured as one of the "Ten Most Brilliant" young scientists in the U.S. by Popular Science Magazine in 2003, Dr. Tishkoff is a leading expert in human genetics and is on the forefront of studies that use the human genome to reveal our evolutionary heritage and its impact on our lives, including differences in human disease susceptibility, drug metabolism and dietary adaptations.