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Regional surnames and genetic structure in Great Britain

Kandt, J; Cheshire, JA; Longley, PA; (2016) Regional surnames and genetic structure in Great Britain. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers , 41 (4) pp. 554-569. 10.1111/tran.12131. Green open access

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Abstract

Following the increasing availability of DNA-sequenced data, the genetic structure of populations can now be inferred and studied in unprecedented detail. Across social science, this innovation is shaping new bio-social research agendas, attracting substantial investment in the collection of genetic, biological and social data for large population samples. Yet genetic samples are special because the precise populations that they represent are uncertain and ill-defined. Unlike most social surveys, a genetic sample's representativeness of the population cannot be established by conventional procedures of statistical inference, and the implications for population-wide generalisations about bio-social phenomena are little understood. In this paper, we seek to address these problems by linking surname data to a censored and geographically uneven sample of DNA scans, collected for the People of the British Isles study. Based on a combination of global and local spatial correspondence measures, we identify eight regions in Great Britain that are most likely to represent the geography of genetic structure of Great Britain's long-settled population. We discuss the implications of this regionalisation for bio-social investigations. We conclude that, as the often highly selective collection of DNA and biomarkers becomes a more common practice, geography is crucial to understanding variation in genetic information within diverse populations.

Type: Article
Title: Regional surnames and genetic structure in Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/tran.12131
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tran.12131
Language: English
Additional information: The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). © 2016 The Authors. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Great Britain; population genetics; cluster analysis; regional geography; surnames; geodemographics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1508279
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