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Coalescent theory is one of the most elegant and powerful probabilistic approaches in mathematical population genetics. It formalizes the backward perspective on evolution in large finite populations, providing a link between evolutionary models and empirical data.

Current models are much more sophisticated than the original models that were first considered. Recent theoretical advances include ancestral recombination-conversion-selection graphs, multiple or simultaneous mergers of ancestral lineages, group-structured or spatial coalescents, not to mention temporal variations, to take into account a wider range of demographic patterns and evolutionary scenarios.

Researchers who are actively working on algorithms for the analysis of human genetic data and the mapping of disease genes benefit from new theoretical developments. There are now massive genomic programs associated with whole-genome sequencing of very deep pedigrees, 1000s of complete genomes sampled from populations, and in some cases, the sequencing of entire populations.

This workshop is an opportunity to bring together theoretical and empirical molecular evolutionists, mathematical population geneticists, statisticians and epidemiologists to study new theoretical developments in coalescent theory and to discuss current challenges raised by the availability of large amount of genetic data.

This workshop will be preceeded by the mini-course: Theoretical and Applied Tools in Population and Medical Genomics, October 6, 2013.