george busby

George Busby

DPhil student


I am a postgraduate research student in the department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. I work in Cristian Capelli's lab using evolutionary genetic techniques to explore the ancient movements of people around the Mediterranean. My samples come from across Europe and the Middle East and I am working to type the Y chromosomes of these samples. There is a particular empahasis on the Italian peninsula, and the composition of the major Y chromosome haplogroups up and down the country. I will also analyse the data from 600K genomic snp chips, in order to further investigate the genetic variation across Europe - at the genomic level.

DPhil student
Department of Zoology
University of Oxford
Research Technician
Institute of Zoology
London Zoo
Risk Analyst RMS
RMS London
MRes Ecology,Evolution and Conservation (with distinction)
Imperial College London
BSc (Hons) Zoology(1st Class)
University of Edinburgh

Other Research

    Social Insects

I spent a year working as a research technician with Seirian Sumner at the Institute of Zoology at London Zoo, working on the genetic basis of socialism in social hymneoptera. I used realtime PCR to investigate the gene expression in different castes of the primatively eusocial wasp Polistes dominulus.

    Conservation Genetics

During my Masters degree at Imperial College London, I worked at the Institute of Zoology at London Zoo investigating the applicability of genetics to conservation. Through the extraction of DNA, and subsequent analysis of scat samples we showed that there were cheetah and at least one leopard in the southern Algerian desert. Leopard were thought to be extinct in Algeria for over 50 years.

simien mountains

    Ethiopian Wolves

In my final year as an undergradute at the University of Edinburgh, I organised and led an expedition to the Simien highlands of northern Ethiopia: the Lone Wolf Project. Our quest was to try to find evidence for the ethiopian wolf, Canis simienis in this most northerly refuge of its range. The ethiopian wolf is the most endangered species of canid in the world, thought to number fewer than 500. We found that the ethiopian wolf was present in the Simien, and surviving. However, we noted a growing trend towards agriculture at increasingly higher altitudes, resulting in a decreasing amount of usable habitat for the wolf.



Busby, G.B.J., et al (2009) Genetic analysis of scat reveals leopard Panthera pardus and cheetah Acinonyx jubatus in Southern Algeria, Oryx 43 (3) 412-415 (doi: S0030605309001197)

Reports and Theses

Busby, G.B.J., D. Gottelli, S. Durant, T. Wacher, L. Marker, F. Belbachir, K. De Smet, A. Belbachir-Bazi, A. Fellous & M.Belghoul. 2006. A Report from the Sahelo Saharan Interest Group – Office du Parc National de l’Ahaggar Survey, Algeria (March 2005) - Part 5: Using Molecular Genetics to study the Presence of Endangered Carnivores (November 2006). Unpublished Report. vi + 19 pp

Busby, G.B.J., Busby, J.S.E., Grant, J., Hoolahan, R.A. and Marsden, C.D. 2006. The Lone Wolf Project Final Report: An expedition to the Simien Mountains Ethiopia 29th June – 12th September 2005 Unpublished expedition report vii + 127 pp

Busby, G.B.J. 2006. The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in North Africa: A non-invasive study of carnivores from the Ahaggar Mountains, Southern Algeria. Unpublished MRes Thesis, Imperial College London.

Busby, G.B.J. 2006 Finding the Blues: An investigation into the origins and evolution of African American music. Unpublished MRes Thesis, Imperial College London