Peter Donnelly

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Peter Donnelly
Born Peter John Donnelly
(1959-05-15) 15 May 1959 (age 57)
Institutions University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Oxford
Thesis Some interactive particle systems[1] (1983)
Doctoral advisor John Kingman[1]

Peter James Donnelly, FRS FMedSci (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.

Background, family and education[edit]

Donnelly was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland, the son of financial adviser, economic theorist and author Austin Donnelly[2] and Sheila Donnelly. He is the brother of Sharon Donnelly and of eminent Australian financier, funds manager and company director Melda Donnelly.[3] He was educated at St. Joseph's Christian Brothers College, Gregory Terrace, the University of Queensland and Balliol College, Oxford.

Professional life[edit]

When elected to a chair at Queen Mary College, London in 1988 Donnelly was only 29,[4] 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.[5]

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[6] and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, a genome-wide association study.[7]

Awards and honours[edit]

Donnelly was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006[8] and also elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008.[9]

Other significant awards and honours have included:[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "DPhil Students 1980-1989" (PDF). Oxford University Statistics. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Way, Nicholas (2007), The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 September 2007 Obituary
  3. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek Company Overview of Victorian Funds Management Corporation; Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ Peter Donnelly's CV
  5. ^ Lynch, Michael; Cole, Simon A.; McNally, Ruth; Jordan, Kathleen (2010), Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting, University of Chicago Press, p. 193, ISBN 9780226498089 .
  6. ^ Secko, David (26 October 2005), "Phase I of HapMap Complete: International consortium publishes most comprehensive catalog of human genetic variation to date", The Scientist .
  7. ^ "List of Contributing Investigators: Membership of Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2", Ophthalmology, retrieved 2014-09-18 .
  8. ^ Professor Donnelly elected Fellow of The Royal Society, St. Anne's College, University of Oxford, 1 June 2006 
  9. ^ New Fellows elected to Academy of Medical Sciences, University of Oxford, 2 May 2008 .
  10. ^ a b Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, Academic Staff, Peter Donnelly

External links[edit]