May 21st, Iain Mathieson, “Demography and the age of rare variants”

IainMathiesonIain Mathieson is a postdoc in David Reich’s lab at Harvard, working on approaches to detect selection in recent human evolution using ancient DNA. He is spending this semester at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. Before moving to Harvard, he completed his PhD at Oxford with Gil McVean, investigating the genetics of spatially structured populations.

Talk: Demography and the age of rare variants.

The distribution of rare variants can be highly informative about recent population history. One way to use this information is to infer the age of these variants using their surrounding haplotype structure. These ages vary enormously. For example, depending on population, the age of variants at frequency 0.1% in the 1,000 Genomes data varies from tens to thousand of generations, revealing the influence of population splits, admixtures and bottlenecks. We can  derive explicit estimators for historical effective population sizes and migration rates by treating these ages as samples from the distribution of coalescent times. This approach is very accurate for the recent past, which makes it a useful complement to sequentially Markovian coalescent approaches which are most accurate for older events.

Seminar details

Wednesday May 21st, 2014
1:00 PM Lunch In Clark S360, (sign up below)
1:15 PM Seminar
Location: Clark S360


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