speaker: Professor Elizabeth A. Thompson
(University of Washington, School of Statistics)
room: Lecture Theatre
see also: additional details
host/contact: Prof Thomas Meagher
More details about the 4-day International Environmental Omics Synthesis Conference in St Andrews, as well as speakers and programme, can be found on the iEOS web site.
Genetic diversity in a species is key to its success in a changing environment, and a key determinant of genetic diversity is the ancestral history of the population. Classically such ancestral structure was considered in terms of population demography and pedigree-based relationships. Analyses were often constrained by the assumed pedigree structures, and by the assumption that individuals not specified as related have independent genetic data. In reality, extended multi-generation pedigrees cannot be validated from genetic data on extant individuals, and any given pedigree can give rise to a wide variation of genetic descent patterns.
Modern genetic data allow for the detection of this co-ancestry at specific genome locations, and it is this co-ancestry of DNA that provides a direct measure of genomic diversity. Recently, primarily in human genetics, numerous methods for the detection of segments of genome sharing between pairs of individuals have been developed. However, combining these inferences into realized structures of the changing genome sharing across a chromosome jointly among multiple individuals has proven challenging. I will discuss a new approach to this problem, and show how, even if only pairwise estimates are desired, joint inference provides improved estimates.