Genetic Variation of Namibian Populations

Namibia, a country in South-west Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the few Southern African countries where hunter-gatherer, pastoralist and farmer lifestyles all coexist. This makes Namibia a very interesting place to study the interactions that occur between groups with different lifestyles.


Working in collaboration with Dr Ockie Oosthuizen and Erica Oosthuizen, in 2010 and 2012 saliva samples were collected in Namibia from several groups within the country. MtDNA and Y chromosome analysis will be carried out on these samples, which will then be compared to data from other African populations available in the literature or generated by our group. We hope these comparisons will provide an insight into population movements and admixture dynamics. Given the recent genomic transition, we are also exploring  genome-wide SNP data to address issues related to the peopling of this region.

Acknowledgments We would like to thank the Namibian Ministry of Health for their assistance and permission to carry out this project. We would also like to thank the people of Namibia for volunteering their saliva. Dr Ockie and Erica Oosthuizen played an instrumental role in the organisation of the sampling trip, and their knowledge of the area and local contacts were invaluable. Sarah Marks and George Busby are also acknowledged for help organising the trip and collecting samples, and Simon Marks for help with sampling. We were also assisted by many translators, without whom we would not have been able to collect the ethno-linguistic information. Finally we would like to thank The Wenner Gren Foundation, the Boise Fund and the John Fell Fund-University of Oxford for providing the funding needed to carry out this project.