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.
Science - Chimpanzee genomic diversity reveals ancient admixture with bonobos
Modern non-African human genomes contain genomic remnants that suggest that there was interbreeding between ancient humans and archaic hominoid lineages. Now, an international consortium of researchers, including Prof. Laurent Excoffier and his team, show similar ancestral interbreeding between the ancestors of today's chimpanzees and bonobos. The study also provides population-specific genetic markers that may be valuable for conservation efforts.