I am a doctoral student in Population Genetics at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, supervised by Professor Nick Barton. Before IST, I studied mathematics and physics at University of Vienna, where I completed my master thesis in mathematical physics under the supervision of Stefan Haller.

My research focuses on estimating parameters of a population's demography from genetic data. Direct observations are often costly and time consuming, thus having methods that make use of the nowadays often easily available genetic data can be of help for many biologists and ecologists.

I work on a novel method that uses long blocks of genome shared between pairs of samples. Such blocks can be nowadays picked up within whole genome or dense SNP data sets. They are the direct traces of relative recent relatedness, and spatial patterns of sharing therefore contain ample signal for the estimation of demographic parameters such as typical dispersal distances.

For this I collaborate with Prof. Graham Coop (UC Davis). Together we apply the developed method on human data to estimate recent human demography (~ last 1000 years) in central and eastern Europe.

I am also involved in a central project of the Barton group that focuses on a hybrid zone of Antirrhinum majus (snapdragons) in the Eastern Pyrenees. In this long-term project started in 2009, extensive sampling of a contact zone between two flower color morphs is conducted - with the goal to construct a pedigree to answer fundamental questions about selection and gene flow in wild hybrid populations. I am involved in field work since 2013, and every summer I spend a few weeks in a picturesque valley in north east Spain.

I am involved in data analysis of this project, where I primarily investigate the spatial patterns of genetic structure of this population. The aim is to understand whether indirect genetic methods agree with "direct" pedigree estimates. This will help to better understand how well methods that often make strong assumptions about population structure agree with the possibly very complex reality of natural populations.


Harald Ringbauer; Graham Coop & N.H. Barton (2017): Inferring Recent Demography from Isolation by Distance of Long Shared Sequence Blocks, Genetics


Harald Ringbauer.; Alexander Kolesnikov.; David Field & N.H. Barton (2017): Estimating barriers to gene flow from distorted isolation by distance patterns, bioRxiv, 205484

Programs and Scripts



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Email: hringbauer (at) ist.ac.at