Dr Vincent Macaulay

  • Reader, Head of Statistics (Statistics)

telephone: 01413306802
email: Vincent.Macaulay@glasgow.ac.uk

Room 222 Level 2
Mathematics Building
Glasgow G12 8QW

Personal website

Research Interests

My research involves making statistical models of the genetic variation that exists within species, particularly humans. Such models can often be interpreted in terms of the demographic processes that have affected the species in the past, such as episodes of migration and population size change. Understanding the natural genetic variability that is present in humans is very helpful in designing and interpreting studies that try to find the genetic determinants of complex diseases.

Another strand of my research involves developing statistical methods for phylogenetic analysis given complex data types, such as functions and shapes.

Research Groups

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Number of items: 39.


Costa, M. D. et al. (2013) A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages. Nature Communications, 4, 2543. (doi:10.1038/ncomms3543) (PMID:24104924) (PMCID:PMC3806353)

Newman, S., Deason, M., Pitsiladis, Y., Salas, A., and Macaulay, V. (2013) The West African ethnicity of the enslaved in Jamaica. Slavery and Abolition, 34(3), pp. 376-400. (doi:10.1080/0144039X.2012.734054)

Soares, P., Abrantes, D., Rito, T., Thomson, N., Radivojac, P., Li, B., Macaulay, V., Samuels, D. C., and Pereira, L. (2013) Evaluating purifying selection in the mitochondrial DNA of various mammalian species. PLoS ONE, 8(3), e58993. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058993) (PMID:23533597) (PMCID:PMC3606437)


Pala, M. et al. (2012) Mitochondrial DNA signals of late glacial recolonization of Europe from near eastern refugia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 90(5), pp. 915-924. (doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.04.003)

Deason, M., Scott, R., Irwin, L., Macaulay, V., Irving, R., Charlton, V., Morrison, E., Austin, K., and Pitsiladis, Y.P. (2012) Importance of mitochondrial haplotypes and maternal lineage in sprint performance among individuals of West African ancestry. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 22(2), pp. 217-223. (doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01289.x)

Macaulay, V., and The Functional Phylogenies Group, . (2012) Phylogenetic inference for function-valued traits: speech sound evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 27(3), pp. 160-166. (doi:10.1016/j.tree.2011.10.001)

Deason, M.L., Salas, A., Newman, S.P., Macaulay, V.A., Morrison, E.Y., and Pitsiladis, Y.P. (2012) Interdisciplinary approach to the demography of Jamaica. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12(24), (doi:10.1186/1471-2148-12-24)


Soares, P. et al. (2011) Ancient voyaging and Polynesian origins. American Journal of Human Genetics, 88(2), pp. 239-247. (doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.01.009)


Marchington, D., Malik, S., Banerjee, A., Turner, K., Samuels, D., Macaulay, V., Oakeshott, P., Fratter, C., Kennedy, S., and Poulton, J. (2010) Information for genetic management of mtDNA disease: sampling pathogenic mtDNA mutants in the human germline and in placenta. Journal of Medical Genetics, 47(4), pp. 257-261. (doi:10.1136/jmg.2009.072900 )

Cruciani, F., Trombetta, B., Macaulay, V., and Scozzari, R. (2010) About the X-to-Y Gene Conversion Rate. American Journal of Human Genetics, 86(3), pp. 495-497. (doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.01.033)

Soares, P., Achilli, A., Semino, O., Davies, W., Macaulay, V., Bandelt, H.-J., Torroni, A., and Richards, M.B. (2010) The archaeogenetics of Europe. Current Biology, 220(4), R174-R183. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.054)

Pereira, L. et al. (2010) Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10, p. 390. (doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-390)


Soares, P., Ermini, L., Thomson, N., Mormina, M., Rito, T., Rohl, A., Salas, A., Oppenheimer, S., Macaulay, V., and Richards, M. B. (2009) Correcting for Purifying Selection: An Improved Human Mitochondrial Molecular Clock. American Journal of Human Genetics, 84(6), pp. 740-759. (doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.05.001)

Pereira, L., Freitas, F., Fernandes, V., Pereira, J. B., Costa, M. D., Costa, S., Maximo, V., Macaulay, V., Rocha, R., and Samuels, D. C. (2009) The Diversity Present in 5140 Human Mitochondrial Genomes. American Journal of Human Genetics, 84(5), pp. 628-640. (doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.04.013)

Salas, A., Lovo-Gómez, J., Álvarez-Iglesias, V., Cerezo, M., Lareu, M.V., Macaulay, V., Richards, M.B., and Carracedo, A. (2009) Mitochondrial echoes of first settlement and genetic continuity in El Salvador. PLoS ONE, 4(9), e6882. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006882)


Macaulay, V., and Richards, M. (2008) Mitochondrial genome sequences and their phylogeographic interpretation. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, pp. 1-5. (doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0020843)

Achilli, A. et al. (2008) Mitochondrial genomes of extinct aurochs survive in domestic cattle. Current Biology, 18(4), R157-R158. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.019)

Soares, P. et al. (2008) Climate change and postglacial human dispersals in Southeast Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 25(6), pp. 1209-1218. (doi:10.1093/molbev/msn068 )


Goios, A., Pereira, L., Bogue, M., Macaulay, V., and Amorim, A. (2007) mtDNA phylogeny and evolution of laboratory mouse strains. Genome Research, 17, pp. 293-298. (doi:10.1101/gr.5941007)

Hill, C. et al. (2007) A mitochondrial stratigraphy for island southeast Asia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 80, pp. 29-43.

Pereira, L., Goncalves, J., Franco-Duarte, R., Silva, J., Rocha, T., Arnold, C., Richards, M., and Macaulay, V. (2007) No evidence for an mtDNA role in sperm motility: Data from complete sequencing of asthenozoospermic males. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24, pp. 868-874. (doi:10.1093/molbev/msm004)

Salas, A., Bandelt, H., Macaulay, V., and Richards, M. (2007) Phylogeographic investigations: The role of trees in forensic genetics. Forensic Science International, 168, pp. 1-13. (doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.05.037)


Bandelt, H.J., Macaulay, V. and Richards, M., (Eds.) (2006) Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens. Series: Nucleic acids and molecular biology. Springer: Berlin, Germany. ISBN 9783540317883

Bandelt, H.J., Kong, Q.P., Richards, M., and Macaulay, V. (2006) Estimation of mutation rates and coalescence times: some caveats. In: Macaulay, V. and Richards, M. (eds.) Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens. Series: Nucleic acids and molecular biology (18). Springer: Berlin, pp. 47-90. ISBN 9783540317890

Hill, C. et al. (2006) Phylogeography and ethnogenesis of aboriginal Southeast Asians. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 23, pp. 2480-2491. (doi:10.1093/molbev/msl124)

Pereira, L. et al. (2006) Evaluating the forensic informativeness of mtDNA haplogroup H sub-typing on a Eurasian scale. Forensic Science International, 159, pp. 43-50. (doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.06.008)

Torroni, A., Achilli, A., Macaulay, V., Richards, M., and Bandelt, H. (2006) Harvesting the fruit of the human mtDNA tree. Trends in Genetics, 22, pp. 339-345. (doi:10.1016/j.tig.2006.04.001)


Macaulay, V. et al. (2005) Single, rapid coastal settlement of Asia revealed by analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes. Science, 308, pp. 1034-1036. (doi:10.1126/science.1109792)

Pereira, L. et al. (2005) High-resolution mtDNA evidence for the late-glacial resettlement of Europe from an Iberian refugium. Genome Research, 15, pp. 19-24. (doi:10.1101/gr.3182305)

Salas, A., Carracedo, A., Macaulay, V., Richards, M., and Bandelt, H. (2005) A practical guide to mitochondrial DNA error prevention in clinical, forensic, and population genetics. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 335, pp. 891-899. (doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.07.161)

Salas, A., Carracedo, A., Richards, M., and Macaulay, V. (2005) Charting the ancestry of African Americans. American Journal of Human Genetics, 77, pp. 676-680.

Salas, A., Richards, M., Lareu, M., Sobrino, B., Silva, S., Matamoros, M., Macaulay, V., and Carracedo, A. (2005) Shipwrecks and founder effects: Divergent demographic histories reflected in Caribbean mtDNA. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 128, pp. 855-860. (doi:10.1002/ajpa.20117)

Salas, A., Yao, Y.G., Macaulay, V., Vega, A., Carracedo, A., and Bandelt, H.J. (2005) A critical reassessment of the role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis. PLoS Medicine, 2(11), e296. (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020296)


Richards, M., Macaulay, V., Hill, C., Carracedo, A., and Salas, A. (2004) The archaeogenetics of the dispersals of the Bantu-speaking people. In: Renfrew, C. and Jones, M. (eds.) Traces of Ancestry: Studies in Honour of Colin Renfrew. Series: McDonald Institute monographs. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research: Cambridge, Eng., pp. 75-87. ISBN 9781902937250

Salas, A., Richards, M., Lareu, M., Scozzari, R., Coppa, A., Torroni, A., Macaulay, V., and Carracedo, A. (2004) The African diaspora: Mitochondrial DNA and the Atlantic slave trade. American Journal of Human Genetics, 74, pp. 454-465.

Vega, A., Salas, A., Gamborino, E., Sobrido, M., Macaulay, V., and Carracedo, A. (2004) MtDNA mutations in tumors of the central nervous system reflect the neutral evolution of mtDNA in populations. Oncogene, 23, pp. 1314-1320. (doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1207214)


Bandelt, H.J., Macaulay, V., and Richards, M. (2003) What molecules can't tell us about the spread of languages and the Neolithic. In: Bellwood, P.S. and Renfrew, C. (eds.) Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis. Series: McDonald Institute monographs. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research: Cambridge, pp. 99-107. ISBN 1902937201

Poulton, J., Macaulay, V., and Marchington, D.R. (2003) Transmission, genetic counselling, and prenatal diagnosis of mitochondrial DNA disease. In: Holt, I.J. (ed.) Genetics of Mitochondrial Diseases. Series: Oxford monographs on medical genetics (47). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, pp. 309-326. ISBN 9780198508656


Richards, M., Macaulay, V., and Bandelt, H.J. (2002) Analyzing genetic data in a model-based framework: inferences about European prehistory. In: Renfrew, C. and Bellwood, P.S. (eds.) Examining the Farming / Language Dispersal Hypothesis. Series: McDonald Institute monographs. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research: Cambridge, UK, pp. 459-466. ISBN 9781902937205

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Current PhD students

Alasdair McIntosh (Statistical models of human genetic variation)
Suzy Whoriskey
Irene Marinas (Joint modelling of discrete and complex continuous data types evolving along phylogenies)

This year I am teaching:

S1Y Statistical Methods

4H/M Bayesian Statistics

Level M Statistics Genetics