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MICHAEL DEGIORGIO - The Pennsylvania State University

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Composite likelihood methods for detecting natural selection
18 September 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
201 Thomas Bldg.
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The study of genetic variation is fundamental to population and evolutionary genetics, as it provides a basis for understanding differences among individuals, populations, and species. This talk will focus on the development of statistical approaches for identifying the adaptive processes that have shaped the current distribution of genetic variation in populations. Three main adaptive forces are positive, negative, and balancing selection. In the first half of the talk, I will discuss an extension to a method for detecting recent positive selection that can take into account the effects of long-term negative selection, both of which can yield similar patterns in the genome. In the second half, I will introduce the first set of likelihood-based methods to scan for signals of long-term balancing selection. Simulation results show that these methods for detecting balancing selection are robust to population demography and are the most powerful developed to date.