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Peter Donnelly, FRS (born 15 May 1959) is an Australian mathematician and Professor of Statistical Science at the University of Oxford. He is a specialist in applied probability and has made contributions to coalescent theory. His research group at Oxford has an international reputation for the development of statistical methodology to analyze genetic data.
He was educated at the University of Queensland and Balliol College, Oxford. When elected to a chair at Queen Mary College, London in 1988 he was only 29, and possibly the youngest Professor in Great Britain. He held a chair at the University of Chicago (1994–96) and was head of the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2001. Since 2007, he has been Director, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG) in Oxford, where he is currently based. He is a fellow at St Anne's College, Oxford.
Many leading statistical geneticists worked with Donnelly as young researchers including David Balding, Carsten Wiuf, Matthew Stephens and Jonathan Pritchard. One area in which he has a leading reputation is in the interpretation of DNA evidence. He has acted as an expert witness on forensic science in criminal trials.
He is noted for his collaborative work with biologists. He has been heavily involved in a number of large scale projects, such as the International HapMap Project and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, a genome-wide association study.
See also R v Adams