Docent Lecture: How are we related to each other in space and time? Simple models of our ancestry

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 4003
  • Lecturer: Raazesh Sainudiin
  • Organiser: Doktor Raazesh Sainudiin
  • Contact person: Raazesh Sainudiin
  • Docentföreläsning

Welcome to Raazesh Sainudiin's docentship lecture. Chairperson is Erik Ekström and Di Yuan is the docentship committee representative.

Abstract:  Have you ever wondered how individuals in a population are interrelated in space and time? Each of us has parents, grand-parents, great grand-parents and such ancestors if we were to trace our individual pedigree back in time. Eventually, even if we are not siblings or cousins, the pedigree of any two individuals may share common ancestors if we go back far enough in time. How can we understand this process of being related by sharing common ancestors?

This lecture will introduce perhaps one of the simplest mathematical models of how an idealised population evolves forward in time by mating and producing offspring in each generation. Then we will look at this evolution back in time to shed light on our common ancestry and processes of genetic inheritance constrained by this ancestry. Our model will help us answer simple questions like how much time does it take to reach the most recent common ancestor of a sample of individuals from the population or how genetic variation observed at the level of DNA sequences from the sample can form. At the end, I will briefly sketch how this model is related to current research in mathematical theory of population genomics.

The lecture is an obligatory teaching test for those applying for admittance as docent and it should be possible for students and others with basic academic education in the relevant field to follow it. The lecture lasts 40-45 minutes with subsequent discussion. The lecture will be given in English.

The seminar will take place at Ångström Laboratory, but it will also be possible to attend on Zoom.