sociogenome bio photo


Unravelling the genetic influences of reproductive behaviour and gene-environment interaction


Press release

Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior

The paper, ‘Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior’ is published in the scientific journal, Nature Genetics. doi: 10.1038/ng.3698

A filmed interview with lead author Professor Melinda Mills, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford, is available for use by media. For more details, please contact

Sociogenome is a research project located at the University of Oxford and Nuffield College, funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Melinda Mills. The project is a comprehensive study of the role of genes and gene-environment (GxE) interaction on reproductive behaviour. Until now, social science research has focussed on socio-environmental explanations, largely neglecting the role of genes. Drawing from recent unprecedented advances in molecular genetics, it examines whether there is a genetic component to reproductive outcomes, including age at first birth, number of children and infertility and their interaction with the social environment.

For a video about the Sociogenome project, can be viewed on: SOCIOGENOME VIDEO

Researchers from 175 institutions and departments were involved in the study. Funding for the project was provided through grants from theto Mills from an ERC Consolidator Grant SOCIOGENOME (615603), a Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) grant (VIDI grant 452-10-012), UK ESRC/NCRM SOCGEN grant (ES/N011856/1), European Union’s FP7 FamiliesAndSocieties project (no.320116) and the Wellcome Trust ISSF & John Fell Fund. Den Hoed was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (2015-03657) and the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation (20140543).

Professor Melinda Mills’ main research areas are currently in the area of combining a social science and genetic approach to the study of behavioural outcomes, with a focus on fertility, partnerships and assortative mating. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the European Sociological Review and, a Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology and Board Member of the European Consortium for Sociological Research.​

If you require further clarification or would like to discuss this research in more detail, please contact: Melinda Mills ( Nicola Barban (, Harold Snieder ( or Marcel den Hoed (

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