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Genomes, Populations, Species

Biology Master, ENS
Year : M2
Semester : S1
ECTS : 3
Coordinators : Guillaume Achaz (MNHN and Collège de France, Paris)

Aims :

This course will address the fundamental processes that are at work
in evolution through the lens of molecular evolution and population genetics. It
will devote time to statistical inferences based on the patterns of polymorphisms
in sequence data. The intended participants are students motivated by the under-
standing of evolutionary processes and not entirely reluctant to theoretical models.

Themes :

The course will cover many of the classical micro-evolutionary pro-
cesses such as genetic drift, mutation, recombination, population subdivision, iso-
lation/speciation and natural selection. Mostly, we will discuss how these processes
can be modelled backward in the so-called coalescent framework and how the dis-
tributions of genealogical trees under various scenarios lead to di-erent patterns in
the polymorphisms. Emphasis will be on the relationships between the \theoreti-
cal" models and the observed \biological" data. Practical sessions of data analysis
and seminars of researchers on a variety of organisms will illustrate the lectures.

Prerequisites :

Basic knowledge in population genetics or molecular evolution.

Organization :

The course lasts one full week, with a lecture in the morn-
ing and a mix of research seminars and practical sessions on computers in the
afternoon. The evaluation is a written exam.

Teaching team :

Guillaume Achaz for the lectures and several invited re-
searchers, illustrating various aspects of the course.