April 30th: Ben Wilson: Soft selective sweeps in complex demographic scenarios

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson is a Graduate Student in Petrov Lab (2010-now). He received his B.S. from the University of Arizona where he worked with Joanna Mazel. Ben is interested in the theoretical population genetics of adaptation, particularly in populations that fluctuate in size over various time-scales. He is also interested in how complex adaptive landscapes contribute to the evolutionary trajectories we see in adaptation. Ben uses a combination of theoretical approaches with experimental evolution and genomic inference to test theoretical predictions.

Talk: Soft selective sweeps in complex demographic scenarios

Frequent mutation can cause multiple copies of a beneficial allele to arise in the population before the allele has swept to fixation,
producing a so-called ‘soft’ selective sweep. While this process is well understood in the case of populations that are constant in size through time, it is not currently known how soft selective sweeps behave in populations that fluctuate in size. We describe some of the important phenomenological behavior of soft selective sweeps in fluctuating populations and provide a generalized framework for calculating the probability of observing a soft sweep in populations under complex demographic scenarios. In particular we find that soft sweeps can be ‘hardened’ by strong, recurrent population bottlenecks and that strong selection is more likely to produce soft sweeps than weak selection when population fluctuations are common.

Seminar details

Wednesday April 30th, 2014
1:15 PM Seminar (no lunch, sorry!)
Location: Clark Auditorium

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