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Inferring the human settlement of Africa under a geographic and ecologically explicit framework

Author Isabel ALVES
Director of thesis Professor Laurent Excoffier
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

Africa is the cradle of mankind and it exhibits the highest level of genetic diversity and differentiation of all continents. Since the emergence of our species, 150-200,000 years ago, several population expansions and dispersal events have occurred throughout the African continent, but very few attempts have been made to define as precisely as possible the evolutionary history of African populations. By analyzing the largest dataset available on the genetic diversity of African populations, and by performing one of the very first spatially explicit simulations integrated into a Bayesian inference framework, we plan to 1) infer the demographic history of African populations over wide regions, focusing on the origin(s) of food-producing populations, their migrations routes and mode of interaction with hunter-gatherers; 2) estimate the divergence times and migration rates between distinct hunter-gatherer groups; 3) evaluate the importance of geographic and ecological data for explaining current patterns of genetic diversity in Africa.

Administrative delay for the defence