Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project

photo of a man in Africa
Credit: David Evans, National Geographic Society

Dr. Spencer Wells
Explorer-in-Residence and Director of the Genographic Project
National Geographic Society

The fossil record suggests that our species evolved in Africa, but when? Now the new tools of molecular genetics are being used to unearth clues that reveal how we populated the world. This research has culminated in the launch of the National Geographic and IBM's Genographic Project, the largest study of genetic anthropology ever undertaken. Dr. Wells takes us on a tour that spans the globe and 60,000 years, tracing the migrations of our ancient ancestors using genetic signposts carried in the DNA of people living today. The research reveals how the incredible tapestry of human diversity has been created through these epic journeys.

Copies of Deep Ancestry will be available for review and purchase at the talk.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, call Kum J. Ham at 301-975-4203.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

Created October 26, 2009, Updated December 30, 2016