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.
Nature - A complex settlement of Siberia reconstructed with ancient genomes
Our lab has modeled the settlement of North Eastern Siberia by modern humans, as part of a highly international and collaborative study led by Prof. Eske Willerslev director of The Lundbeck Foundation Centre for GeoGenetics in Copenhagen. The comparison of ancient and modern whole genomes has revealed that there had been at least three consecutive waves of migrations into that region since the last ice age, with little overlap between populations. Interestingly, the first wave was initiated more than 30 thousand ya by a now extinct population that had genetic affinities with western Eurasians, whereas the second population, which was related to East Asians colonized the region only after the last glacial maximum. Interestingly, members of this second wave are the individuals closest to Amerindians found outside the Americas to date, shedding new lights on the colonisation of this continent.