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.
PNAS - Mutation load created during human expansions out of Africa
The further a population moves away from its place of origin, the more harmful mutations it will carry. This is the result of a study conducted by Prof. Laurent Excoffier and his team, as part of an international collaboration led by Brenna Henn from Stony Brook University and Carlos Bustamante from Stanford University.
The researchers analysed genomes of individuals across four continents while former studies had only been carried out on two populations. The study has now been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.