Donnelly, Professor Sir Peter

Peter Donnelly
Professor Sir​

Peter Donnelly​

Honorary Fellow

Twitter: @genemodeller

Academic Background

Peter Donnelly is the former Professor of Statistical Science at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford. He grew up in Australia and on graduating from the University of Queensland he studied for a doctorate in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He held professorships at the Universities of London and Chicago before returning to Oxford in 1996. Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, in Oxford. Peter was awarded a Knighthood in the Queens Birthday Honours list 2019.  With colleagues Peter founded Genomics plc. He remains its CEO.

Research Interests

  • Stochastic modelling
  • Applications of probability and statistics in genetics
  • Gene mapping, early human evolution, population genetics
  • Measure-valued diffusions, statistical issues in DNA profiling


Recent publications

The UK Biobank resource with deep phenotyping and genomic data. Clare Bycroft, Colin Freeman, Desislava Petkova, Gavin Band, Lloyd T. Elliott, Kevin Sharp, Allan Motyer, Damjan Vukcevic, Olivier Delaneau, Jared O’Connell, Adrian Cortes, Samantha Welsh, Alan Young, Mark Effingham, Gil McVean, Stephen Leslie, Naomi Allen, Peter Donnelly & Jonathan Marchini. Nature volume 562, October 2018

Identifying loci affecting trait variability and detecting interactions in genome-wide association studies. Young, A.I., Wauthier, F.L., Donnelly, P. Nature Genetics 50(11), pp. 1608-1614 October 2018.

Patterns of genetic differentiation and the footprints of historical migrations in the Iberian Peninsula. Bycroft, C., (...), Donnelly, P., Myers, S. Nature Communications, 10(1), 551 February 2019

Factors influencing meiotic recombination revealed by whole-genome sequencing of single sperm. Hinch, A.G., Zhang, G., Becker, P.W., (...), Bowden, R., Donnelly, P. Science 363(6433), eaau8861. March 2019

Sequencing of human genomes with nanopore technology. Bowden, R., Davies, R.W., Heger, A., (...), Simpson, M.A., Donnelly, P. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1869 April 2019