David Balding

Computational statistics applied to population, evolutionary, medical and forensic genetics

I work in many different areas of computational statistical inference focussing on applications in population, evolutionary, medical and forensic genetics.

Research Staff

Zhendong Huang (co-supervised with Yao-ban Chan)

Sudaraka Mallawaarachchi (former postdoc, now collaborator based at U Oslo/Doherty Institute)


Chengyu Li (PhD, 2017-) Main Supervisor until 2023, continuing as co-supervisor

Erandee Robertson (PhD, 2019-) Co-supervisor with Melanie Bahlo

Lachlan Macintosh (PhD, 2017-) Co-supervisor, with Tony Pappenfuss

Past Research Staff 

John Holmes (now lecturer at University of Canterbury, NZ)

Past Students

Anubhav Kaphle (PhD, 2018-22) Main supervisor, now postdoc with CSIRO

Jeff Paril (PhD, 2017-21) Co-supervisor with Alex Fournier-Level, now postdoc in BioSciences

Kartik Kamboj (MPhil, 2020-21) Main supervisor

Ali Mahmoudi (PhD, 2017-21) Main supervisor

Shian Su (MSc Maths & Stats, 2016)

Yupei You (MSc Bioinformatics 2018) Main supervisor

Michael Silk (PhD, 2017-21) Co-supervisor, with Slavé Petrovski and David Ascher


I have helped develop methods now implemented in the LDAK software (https://dougspeed.com/ldak) for analysing GWAS data. It has >30 functions for:

  • Testing predictors for association with a phenotype (either individually or jointly)
  • Estimating SNP heritability by analysing individual-level data
  • Estimating SNP heritability, heritability enrichments, genetic correlation and the selection-related parameter alpha by analysing summary statistics
  • Constructing SNP-based prediction models (polygenic risk scores)

Former Visitors

Garrett Hellenthal (UCL, April - May 2019)
Hanaisa Sant Anna (PhD student, Brazil, Aug 2018 - Aug 2019)
Pak Sham (Hong Kong, Dyason Fellow hosted by me and Damjan Vukcevic, March 2019)
Jukka Corander (Oslo and Helsinki, Dec 2017 - Jan 2018)
Tatiana Hessab (PhD student, Federal University of Rio De Janeiro, Jul 17 - Feb 18)
Maria Simonsen (Aarhus University, Denmark, 2016)
Tristan Mary-Huard (AgroParisTech, France, 2016)
Søren Vilsen (Aalborg University, Denmark, 2016)