Bill Hill (geneticist)

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Bill Hill

William George Hill

(1940-08-07) 7 August 1940 (age 80)[1]
EducationSt Albans School
Alma materWye College (BSc)
University of California, Davis (MSc)
University of Edinburgh (PhD)
Awards2019 Mendel Medal from the Genetics Society
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Edinburgh
ThesisStudies on artificial selection (1965)
Doctoral advisorAlan Robertson[2]
Doctoral studentsPeter Keightley[3]
Peter Visscher[4]

William George Hill OBE FRS FRSE[5] (born 7 August 1940)[1] is an English geneticist and statistician. He is professor emeritus at University of Edinburgh since his retirement in 2002.[6][7][1][8] He is credited as co-discoverer of the Hill–Robertson effect with his doctoral advisor, Alan Robertson.


Hill was educated at St Albans School, Hertfordshire and studied Agriculture at Wye College, University of London graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1961. He studied Genetics at the University of California, Davis graduating with a Master of Science degree in 1963, then moved to Edinburgh to pursue a PhD in population genetics with Alan Robertson.[2][9][10] His presented thesis was "Studies on artificial selection". [11]He was awarded a Doctor of Science degree in 1976 for research on quantitative genetics.[12]

Research and career[edit]

Hill distinguished for his theoretical contributions to the study of the population and quantitative genetics of finite populations, in particular with respect to multilocus problems.[5] He was the first to present formulae for the expected association of linked genes in finite populations due to random sampling of gametes and for the estimation of these associations from genotype frequencies.[5] He has made major contributions to the analysis of quantitative variation in random breeding populations, both in the design and interpretation of selection experiments and in the analysis of similarity between relatives. He has applied these concepts in his own selection experiments in the laboratory and in farm animal improvement programmes.[5]

Hill served as editor in chief of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B from 2005 to 2009.[13][14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Hill was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1979, a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1985[5] and appointed OBE in 2004.[1][5]

In 2018 he was awarded The Royal Society's Darwin Medal for his contribution to our understanding of the genetics of quantitative traits and response to selection.[15]

In 2019 he was awarded The Genetics Society's Mendel Medal at The Centenary of Genetics Conference, for his contribution to quantitative genetics.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "HILL, Prof. William George". Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Hill, William George (1965). Studies on artificial selection. (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/14074. open access
  3. ^ Keightley, Peter (1988). Studies of quantitative genetic variation (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/12340. open access
  4. ^ Visscher, Peter Martin (1991). Estimation of genetic parameters in dairy cattle using an animal model and implications for genetic improvement (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/11505. OCLC 606115316. EThOS Free to read
  5. ^ a b c d e f Anon (1985). "Professor William Hill OBE FRS". London: Royal Society. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

  6. ^ "Bill Hill, at Edinburgh University's site". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007.
  7. ^ Mackay, Trudy F. C.; Hill, William G.; Goddard, Michael E.; Visscher, Peter M. (2008). "Data and Theory Point to Mainly Additive Genetic Variance for Complex Traits". PLOS Genetics. 4 (2): e1000008. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000008. ISSN 1553-7404. PMC 2265475. PMID 18454194. open access
  8. ^ Bill Hill publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Hill, William George (1990). "Alan Robertson. 21 February 1920-25 April 1989". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 36: 465–88. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1990.0040. PMID 11616177.
  10. ^ Anon (2016). "Honorary Member Biographies: Professor William G. Hill". The Genetics Society. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016.
  11. ^ Hill, William George (1965). "Studies on artificial selection". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Hill, William George (1976). Theoretical population and quantitative genetics and animal improvement. (DSc thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/14072. open access
  13. ^ Anon (2016). "Editorial Board: Proceedings of the Royal Society: B" (PDF). London: Royal Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2016.
  14. ^ Hassell, Mike (7 January 2009). "Editorial: Proceedings B –the next phase". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 276 (1654): 1. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1345. ISSN 0962-8452. PMC 2614263.
  15. ^ "Darwin Medal". Royal Society. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  16. ^ . Genetics Society Mendel Medal 2019 – Professor William G. Hill Mendel Medal 2019 – Professor William G. Hill Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 14 November 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)