People in the Computational and Molecular Population Genetics (CMPG) lab use molecular techniques, theoretical developments, and computer simulations to reconstruct the demographic history of populations and species from genetic data, and to test between alternative evolutionary scenarios.
We explore the genomic diversity of voles and humans in order to discover which genes have recently responded to selection, for instance to adapt to new environments.
We are also interested in quantifying the effect of range expansions and colonisation processes on genetic diversity, since these demographic events can lead to molecular signatures resembling those of selection.
We also develop and maintain computer programs to study and simulate the genetic diversity of populations, infer demographic parameters under complex scenarios, and detect loci under selection from genome scan.
The CMPG lab is affiliated to the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.
Paleogenomics suggest inbreeding avoidance in early humans
Were our prehistoric ancestors aware of the dangers caused by procreation among close relatives? A study led by an international team of scientists, including SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Group Leader Laurent Excoffier and his team at the University of Bern, suggests that early humans might have purposely avoided mating with closely related partners. And this as early as 34,000 years ago.