Spencer Wells, Ph.D., is on a quest to discover the original migration routes of our ancestors by mapping DNA from people around the world. A National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Wells is spearheading National Geographic’s The Genographic Project, which aims to use “ . . . advanced DNA analysis to help answer fundamental questions about where humans originated and how we came to populate the Earth . . .”
By taking a single cheek swab of saliva from the mouths of his participants, Wells is able to obtain DNA-rich samples that tell him stories about his participants’ ancestors. These data will ultimately lead to an invaluable genetic snapshot of humanity before modern-day influences erase it forever.
Trained at the University of Texas, Harvard University and Stanford University, Wells studied under some of the most distinguished evolutionary geneticists to date. His landmark research findings led to advances in the understanding of the male Y chromosome and its ability to trace ancestral human migration (Y-chromosomal Adam).
Wells is author of the award-winning book and documentary, The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey (Princeton University Press, 2002), and, Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project (National Geographic, 2006).
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