BI515: Population Genetics - Spring 2013

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to population genetics, which examines the interaction of basic evolutionary processes (including mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, inbreeding, recombination, and gene flow) in determining the genetic composition and evolutionary trajectories of natural populations. An understanding of the mechanisms shaping genetic variation within and between populations is critical to understanding the course of adaptive evolution and is increasingly being recognized as a critical component of medical research and the development of effective treatments for disease. Both the classic models and insights of the modern evolutionary synthesis and more recently developed approaches based on coalescent theory are considered.


Powerpoint Presentations

Excel and Python Files

Discussion Readings

31 January - Implications of Population Genetics for Adaptive Hypotheses

Lynch, M (2007) The frailty of adaptive hypotheses for the origins of organismal complexity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104, 8597-8604.

7 February - Effective Population Size

Charlesworth, B (2009) Effective population size and patterns of molecular evolution and variation. Nature Reviews Genetics 10, 195-205.

14 February - Coalescent Analysis of Population History

Atkinson QD, Gray RD, Drummond AJ (2009) Bayesian coalescent inference of major human mitochondrial DNA haplogroup expansions in Africa. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276, 367-373.

DeGiorgio M, Jakobsson M, Rosenberg, NA (2009) Explaining worldwide patterns of human genetic variation using a coalescent-based serial founder model of migration outward from Africa. PNAS 106, 16057-16062.

7 March - Coalescent Analysis of Population History

1000 Genomes Project Consortium (Altshuler D et al.) (2010) A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing. Nature 467: 1061-1073.

21 March - Selection

Ficetola GF, Garner TWJ, Wang JL, De Bernardi F (2011) Rapid selection against inbreeding in a wild population of a rare frog. Evolutionary Applications 4: 30-38.

Burke MK, Dunham JP, Shahrestani P, Thornton KR, Rose MR, Long AD (2010) Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila. Nature 467: 587-590.

4 April - Frequency Dependent Selection & Migration

Joly S, Schoen DJ (2011) Migration rates, frequency-dependent selection and the self-incompatibility locus in Leavenworthia (Brassicaceae). Evolution 65: 2357-2369.

18 April - ∂a∂i

Gutenkunst RN, Hernandez RD, Williamson SH, Bustamante CD (2009) Inferring the joint demographic history of multiple populations from multidimensional SNP frequency data. PLoS Genetics 5: e1000695.

25 April - Soft Sweeps

Hernandez RD, Kelley JL, Elyashiv E, Melton SC, Auton A, McVean G, Sella G, Przeworski M, 1000 Genomes Project (2011) Classic selective sweeps were rare in recent human evolution. Science 331: 920–924.

Pritchard JK, Pickrell JK, Coop G (2010) The genetics of human adaptation: hard sweeps, soft sweeps, and polygenic adaptation. Current Biology 20: R208–R215.



Web of Science





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