Biomathematics seminar – Anastasia Ignatieva (University of Oxford)

Reconstruction of genealogies and genealogy-based inference

The evolutionary history of a sample of genetic sequences can be fully captured by their genealogy in the form of an ancestral recombination graph (ARG): a network with nodes representing genomes, edges representing inheritance paths, annotated with mutation events that have shaped the observed genetic diversity. Genealogy-based inference methods thus offer a powerful way of estimating evolutionary parameters of interest from sequencing data, such as demographic history and past population sizes. However, the true ARG is generally unobserved, and must be inferred from the data at hand, which is very computationally challenging. I will give an overview of recent progress in this area, and describe a new method of adding data into reconstructed ARGs with applications to analysing modern and ancient human DNA data.

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