Inferring effective relative migration surfaces from geographically-indexed large-scale genetic data

Matthew Stephens
University of Chicago

Genetic data often show patterns that are broadly consistent with "isolation by distance" models: that is, similarity of individuals tends to decay with geographic distance. But, for various reasons, this decay may occur more quickly in some regions than others: for example, barriers to migration, such as mountains or oceans, could cause decay of similarity to occur more quickly. Here we consider an attempt to infer the presence or absence of such barriers, or more generally to infer and visualise variation in effective migration rates across space, using coalescent-based models. This is joint work with Desislava Petkova and John Novembre

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