Population Genetics

My work in IST-Austria focuses on simulation studies of plant population genetics, with special emphasis on evolutionary processes that shape diversity and genetic structure at different scales. In fact, a key aim of the Antirrhinum project is to integrate the data obtained from various scales of analysis.

At the short scale, parentage studies will allow us to estimate fitness for six phenotypes each with a known and distinct position in genotypic space. The same issue can also be evaluated from medium scale studies by analysing shifts in the cline positions for different loci relative to each other. If evolution involves populations moving from one adaptive peak to another, or tracking peaks as the environment changes, then we expect evidence for selective sweeps at the flower colour loci. On the other hand, if evolution often involves drift or gradual movement along paths of high fitness then such signatures would not be prevalent. We will carry out simulations in Mathematica to determine which overall hypothesis best accounts for the data at the various scales.

If you are interested in getting some population genetics software you can follow these links: