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.
Congratulations to Dr. Nina Marchi for getting the “Prix de la Chancellerie des Universités de Paris” for her PhD thesis on the genetic diversity and the migratory behaviour of populations from Inner Asia.
This prize rewards the academic and scientific quality of PhD theses by students enrolled in universities in Paris region. This award also recognizes the engagement of her PhD supervisors, Prof. Evelyne Heyer and Dr. Laure Ségurel, and the excellence of the PhD host laboratory: Ecological Anthropology and Ethnobiology group (Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France).
During her PhD studies in anthropological genetics, Nina investigated how speciﬁc behaviours such as patrilocality, patrilineality or endogamy may affect the demographic history of human populations, by acting on the intensity of migration and genetic drift. To do so, she used combined genetic and ethnological data, collected in present-day Inner Asian populations that belong to two major cultural and linguistic groups and have different social organisations. Her doctoral research showed that cultural behaviours actively influence the neutral genetic diversity of the studied Inner Asian populations at different time and geographic scales. In a wider perspective, it illustrated how crucial considering cultural behaviours is in order to properly reconstruct the evolutionary history of our species.