Miguel G Vilar

Miguel G Vilar
National Geographic Society | NGS

PhD

About

59
Publications
27,006
Reads
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924
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - present
National Geographic Society
Position
  • Science Manager
August 2010 - present
January 2006 - August 2010
Binghamton University

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Native Mexican populations are crucial for understanding the genetic ancestry of Aztec descendants and coexisting ethnolinguistic groups in the Valley of Mexico and elucidating the population dynamics of the prehistoric colonization of the Americas. Mesoamerican societies were multicultural in nature, and also experienced significant admixture duri...
Article
Full-text available
A number of studies carried out since the early ‘70s has investigated the effects of isolation on genetic variation within and among human populations in diverse geographical contexts. However, no extensive analysis has been carried out on the heterogeneity among genomes within isolated populations. This issue is worth exploring since events of rec...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives From a genetic perspective, relatively little is known about how mass emigrations of African, European, and Asian peoples beginning in the 16th century affected Indigenous Caribbean populations. Therefore, we explored the impact of serial colonization on the genetic variation of the first Caribbean islanders. Materials and methods Sixty...
Preprint
Full-text available
A number of studies carried out since the early '70s has investigated the effects of isolation on genetic variation within and among human populations in diverse geographical contexts. However, no extensive analysis has been carried out on the heterogeneity among genomes within isolated populations. This issue is worth exploring since events of rec...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: In this study, we characterized genetic diversity in the Svans from northwestern Georgia to better understand the phylogeography of their genetic lineages, determine whether genetic diversity in the highland South Caucasus has been shaped by language or geography, and assess whether Svan genetic diversity was structured by regional res...
Article
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The Mediterranean shores stretching between Sicily, Southern Italy and the Southern Balkans witnessed a long series of migration processes and cultural exchanges. Accordingly, present-day population diversity is composed by multiple genetic layers, which make the deciphering of different ancestral and historical contributes particularly challenging...
Article
Full-text available
Aboriginal Australians represent one of the oldest continuous cultures outside Africa, with evidence indicating that their ancestors arrived in the ancient landmass of Sahul (present-day New Guinea and Australia) ~55 thousand years ago. Genetic studies, though limited, have demonstrated both the uniqueness and antiquity of Aboriginal Australian gen...
Article
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Human populations are often dichotomized into “isolated” and “open” categories using cultural and/or geographical barriers to gene flow as differential criteria. Although widespread, the use of these alternative categories could obscure further heterogeneity due to inter-population differences in effective size, growth rate, and timing or amount of...
Article
Aboriginal Australians are one of the more poorly studied populations from the standpoint of human evolution and genetic diversity. Thus, to investigate their genetic diversity, the possible date of their ancestors’ arrival and their relationships with neighboring populations, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity in a large sample of Abo...
Article
Full-text available
Nature Communications 5 : Article number: 3513 10.1038/ncomms4513 ( 2014 ); Published: 29 April 2016 ; Updated: 31 October 2016 This article was published without any competing financial interests statement.
Article
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Historical discourses about the Caribbean often chronicle West African and European influence to the general neglect of indigenous people's contributions to the contemporary region. Consequently, demographic histories of Caribbean people prior to and after European contact are not well understood. Although archeological evidence suggests that the L...
Article
Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands rest on the eastern fringe of the Caribbean's Greater Antilles, located less than 100 miles northwest of the Lesser Antilles. Puerto Ricans are genetic descendants of pre-Columbian peoples, as well as peoples of European and African descent through 500 years of migration to the island. To infer these patterns...
Article
Full-text available
The search for a method that utilizes biological information to predict humans' place of origin has occupied scientists for millennia. Over the past four decades, scientists have employed genetic data in an effort to achieve this goal but with limited success. While biogeographical algorithms using next-generation sequencing data have achieved an a...
Article
Full-text available
The search for a method that utilizes biological information to predict humans’ place of origin has occupied scientists for millennia. Over the past four decades, scientists have employed genetic data in an effort to achieve this goal but with limited success. While biogeographical algorithms using next-generation sequencing data have achieved an a...
Article
Full-text available
Haplogroup H dominates present-day Western European mitochondrial DNA variability (>40%), yet was less common (~19%) among Early Neolithic farmers (~5450 BC) and virtually absent in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Here we investigate this major component of the maternal population history of modern Europeans and sequence 39 complete haplogroup H mitoc...
Article
Unlabelled: The South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, like many developing countries, is currently experiencing a shift in disease burdens from infectious to chronic diseases with economic development. A rapid increase in obesity prevalence represents one component of this "health transition." Objective: To identify behaviors associated with mea...
Article
Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggests the Marianas Islands were settled around 3,600 years before present (ybp) from Island Southeast Asia (ISEA). Around 1,000 ybp latte stone pillars and the first evidence of rice cultivation appear in the Marianas. Both traditions are absent in the rest of prehistoric Oceania. To examine the genetic ori...
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Article
The linguistically distinctive Haida and Tlingit tribes of Southeast Alaska are known for their rich material culture, complex social organization, and elaborate ritual practices. However, much less is known about these tribes from a population genetic perspective. For this reason, we analyzed mtDNA and Y-chromosome variation in Haida and Tlingit p...
Article
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For decades, the peopling of the Americas has been explored through the analysis of uniparentally inherited genetic systems in Native American populations and the comparison of these genetic data with current linguistic groupings. In northern North America, two language families predominate: Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene. Although the genetic evidence f...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, the peopling of the Americas has been explored through the analysis of uniparentally inherited genetic systems in Native American populations and the comparison of these genetic data with current linguistic groupings. In northern North America, two language families predominate: Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene. Although the genetic evidence f...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Rapid economic development and subsequent changes in lifestyle and disease burdens ('health transition') is associated with increasing prevalence of obesity among both adults and children. However, because of continued infectious diseases and undernutrition during the early stages of transition, monitoring childhood obesity has not been...
Article
Discovered in the early 16th century by European colonists, Bermuda is an isolated set of islands located in the mid-Atlantic. Shortly after its discovery, Bermuda became the first English colony to forcibly import its labor by trafficking in enslaved Africans, white ethnic minorities, and indigenous Americans. Oral traditions circulating today amo...
Article
There is increasing evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders, although the exact role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in this process is unresolved. We investigated inherited and somatic mtDNA substitutions and deletions in Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and parkinsonism-dementia (PD). Hypervariable seg...
Article
Full-text available
We explore how risk-taking in the card game contract bridge, and in a financial gamble, correlate with variation in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) among serious tournament bridge players. In bridge risk-taking, we find significant interactions between genetic predisposition and skill. Among men with the 7-repeat allele of DRD4, namely 7R + me...
Article
Health patterns are changing in developing countries; as diet and activity patterns change with economic development, chronic disease prevalence increases, which is a characteristic of health transition. The islands of Vanuatu (South Pacific) have varying rates of economic development and provide a natural experimental model of health transition. T...
Data
Location of Vanuatu in relation to Australia and New Guinea (inset) and sampling locations. (TIF)
Data
Nucleotide polymorphisms in contemporary Vanuatu samples. (XLS)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable region (HVR) sequences of prehistoric Polynesian chicken samples reflect dispersal of two haplogroups--D and E--by the settlers of the Pacific. The distribution of these chicken haplogroups has been used as an indicator of human movement. Recent analyses suggested similarities between prehistoric...
Article
Obesity is a global epidemic, and measures to define it must be appropriate for diverse populations for accurate assessment of worldwide risk. Obesity refers to excess body fatness, but is more commonly defined by body mass index (BMI). Body composition varies among populations: Asians have higher percent body fat (%BF), and Pacific Islanders lower...
Article
Full-text available
The colonization of Oceania occurred in two waves. By 32,000 BP, humans had reached New Guinea and settled all intervisible islands east to the Solomon Islands. Around 3,500 BP, a distinct intrusive group from Southeast Asia reached coastal New Guinea, integrated their components with indigenous resources, and gave rise to the Lapita Cultural Compl...
Article
Full-text available
Recent analyses of global pig populations revealed strict correlations between mtDNA phylogenies and geographic locations. An exception was the monophyletic “Pacific clade” (PC) of pigs not previously linked to any specific location. We examined mtDNA sequences of two varieties of Vanuatu sacred pigs, the male pseudohermaphroditic Narave from the i...

Projects

Project (1)