Harrison Ostridge

Harrison Ostridge

Profile Display Name:

Harrison Ostridge

E-mail Address:


Start Year

2019 (Cohort 6)

Research interests:

Population genetics, conservation genetics

Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Genetic adaptation and demography of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Research Theme

Evolution and Adaptation

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



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. This project will analyse an emerging dataset of 800 exomes from wild chimpanzees at known locations across the range of all four subspecies. New linkage disequilibrium-based methods will be used 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 factors 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 will provide a more complete picture of demography and local adaptation in chimpanzees.

Policy Impact
Background Reading

Heredity Podcast Interview Podcast. Contributors: Harrison Ostridge

Conferences and Workshops
  • SMBE 2021 (July 2021). Poster: Non-invasive sampling to investigate local genetic adaptation in chimpanzees.
  • Popgroup 54 (January 2021).
  • Popgroup55 (January 2022). Talk: Local genetic adaptation in chimpanzees.
  • ESEB 2022 (August 2022). Talk: Genetic adaptation in chimpanzees along a habitat gradient.
  • .

Social Links
University Departmental Website:

Personal Website:





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