Nicolas/Anna: TBA

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Evolution of polymorphism in plants


Understanding modes of species evolution is the major questions to the current evolutionary biology. As more DNA data become available, an increasing number of researchers is now switching to phylogeny-based complex evolutionary models. Therefore, the key challenge today is to develop and test the models which can adequately describe evolution.


The goal of this project is to develop MCMC optimization of Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process with group-specific variance and then use it in phylogenetic comparative analysis to test for signal of directional/divergent selection in a group of plants

Mathematical tools:

Statistics (stochastic models and MCMC) and programming. The students will learn how to use R to implement stochastic models and develop optimization procedures of the model parameters

Biological or Medical aspects:

This kind of analysis allow to estimate the most probable way of evolution, and permit to answer a lot of question like phenotypic evolution, comparative analysis between species and more other.


Anna Kostikova & Nicolas Salamin

Students: References:

A Butler, A A King 2004 "Phylogenetic comparative analysis: A modeling approach for adaptive evolution" American Naturalist: 164(6): 683-695

Back to UNIL BSc course: "Solving Biological Problems that require Math 2012"