PhD Frontiers seminar: "Different approaches to explore demographic history - An example with Sub-Saharan African human populations"

  • Date: –14:30
  • Location: Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum Zootissalen
  • Lecturer: Gwenna Breton
  • Organiser: IOB
  • Contact person: Gwenna Breton
  • Seminarium

Modern humans originated in Africa a few hundred thousand years ago before expanding into the rest of the world. This is supported by evidence from various fields of research, like archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, genetics etc. However, many questions about human population history remain to be explored. In particular, there is accumulating evidence that humans lived in structured populations throughout Africa before the “out of Africa” event. In my work, I investigate high coverage genome sequences from African human populations which are amongst the most divergent from the human reference genome. When using a tree to model human demographic history, their ancestors have been shown to have diverged from the rest of modern humans 100,000 to 350,000 years ago. We use different methods to investigate this deep population history. In this talk, I will focus on one method based on coalescent times across the genome (MSMC) and present results we obtain with that method as well as a simulation study where we look at how MSMC performs in the case of a bottleneck model. I will also present a different method that we will apply to the same questions.