Docentship lecture: How are we related to each other? Simple models of our genetic ancestry

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 , 4101 and on Zoom
  • Lecturer: Dr Raazesh Sainudiin
  • Organiser: Department of Mathematics
  • Contact person: Raazesh Sainudiin
  • Docentföreläsning

The Department of Mathematics hereby invites all interested to a docentship lecture in subject Mathematics. Lecturer: Dr. Raazesh Sainudiin. Title: How are we related to each other? Simple models of our genetic ancestry

Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, 4101, alternatively Zoom (meeting ID: 8038027092) 

Chairperson: professor Erik Ekström

Representative of the Docentship Committee: professor Di Yuan

Abstract:  Have you ever wondered how DNA sequence fragments within  individuals of a population are interrelated? Each of us has parents, grand-parents, great grand-parents and such ancestors.  If we were to trace our individual DNA fragments within us back through time, eventually, even if we are not siblings or cousins, the DNA fragments will share common ancestors. How can we understand this process of being genetically 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 - producing offspring in each generation. Then we will look at this evolution back in time to shed light on our common 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 small random sample of individuals taken from a large population. At the end, I will briefly sketch how this model is related to current research in mathematical theory of population genetics.

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.