Laurent Excoffier

The perils of inferring past demography from genomic data

Abstract. The talk will review recent attempts at inferring past demography from whole genome data in humans and primates, and present evidence of potential problems due to selection and biased mutational processes


Short Bio. Laurent Excoffier has developed widely used methodologies for the analysis of population genetic structure, the reconstruction of long multi-locus haplotypes via the EM algorithm, or the detection of outlier loci from genome scans. He has also explored the effect of spatial expansions on the neutral and functional genetic diversity of species. He has coined the term allele or genetic surfing, which describes the increase in frequency of rare variants occurring on the wave front of range expansions. He has also developed methodologies to infer the past demography of species based on Approximate Bayesian Computation or likelihood methods using information from the site frequency spectrum. He is also interested in understanding the distribution of mutation load in the genome and its evolution in humans.