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Dr Ellen Royrvik



Research Fellow


WMS - Cell and Development Biology
University of Warwick

Research Interests

Ellen's research interests focus on DNA, from molecules to populations. She works on DNA replication as a molecular process, medical genetics, and population genetics, and the interfaces between these topics -- aiming to harness knowledge of population structure and molecular mechanisms to improve the efficacy and design of medical therapies. Her work has appeared in top cross-disciplinary journals from Nature to Antiquity and she has appeared in international TV, radio, and newspaper features disseminating her research.


Following an M.Sc. in cancer genetics at the University of Oslo, Ellen completed a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford as part of the ground-breaking Peoples of the British Isles project, where she coupled genetic analysis of geographically representative blood samples from British and European volunteers with linguistic and archaeological evidence to examine the population structure and history of Britain, allowing her to incorporate her B.A. interests in European archaeology and Celtic and Germanic philology. She then moved to the University of Warwick as a research fellow, where she continues to elucidate the medical implications of genetic stratification in human populations (with recent work on mtDNA diversity informing UK health policy on so-called "three-parent baby" gene therapies). In parallel she works on the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication in fission yeast and mammalian mtDNA, aiming to shed light on genetic processes of medical relevance including nuclear DNA replication intermediates and mtDNA segregation.


View all of Ellen's publications on the University's Publications system: WRAP


  • Royrvik, Ellen, Burgstaller, J. P., Johnston, I. G., 2016. mtDNA diversity in human populations highlights the merit of haplotype matching in gene therapies. Molecular Human Reproduction, 22 (11), pp. 809-817, View
  • Kershaw, Jane, Royrvik, Ellen, 2016. The 'People of the British Isles' project and Viking settlement in England. Antiquity, 90 (354), pp. 1670-1680, View
  • Leslie, Stephen J., Winney, B., Hellenthal, G., Davison, D., Boumertit, A., Day, T., Hutnik, K., Royrvik, Ellen C., Cunliffe, B., Lawson, Daniel J., Falush, Daniel, Freeman, Colin, Pirinen, Matti, Myers, Stephen D., Robinson, M., Donnelly, Peter, Bodmer, W., 2015. The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population. Nature, 519 (7543), pp. 309-314, View
  • Winney, B., Boumertit, A., Day, T., Davison, D., Echeta, C., Evseeva, I., Hutnik, K., Leslie, S., Nicodemus, K. K., Royrvik, Ellen, Tonks, S., Yang, X., Cheshire, J., Longley, P., Mateos, P., Groom, A., Relton, C., Bishop, D. T., Black, K., Northwood, E., Parkinson, L., Frayling, T. M., Steele, A., Sampson, J. R., King, T., Dixon, R., Middleton, D., Jennings, B., Bowden, R., Donnelly, P., Bodmer, W., 2012. People of the British Isles : preliminary analysis of genotypes and surnames in a UK control population. European Journal of Human Genetics, 20, pp. 203-210, View
  • Royrvik, Ellen, Ahlquist, T., Rognes, T., Lothe, R. A., 2007. Slip slidin' away : a duodecennial review of targeted genes in mismatch repair deficient colorectal cancer. Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis, 13 (3), pp. 229-257, View
Books and Chapters
  • Royrvik, Ellen, 2010. Western Celts? A genetic impression of Britain in Atlantic Europe. In: Cunliffe , Barry; Koch, John T.; (ed.), Celtic from the West : alternative perspectives from archaeology, genetics, language and literature, Oxford, Oxbow Books, View

View All Publications

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