Munch Lab

Current research

Our goal is to understand how mutation, selection and recombination together shape genetic variation, the evolution of genomes and the formation of new species. We develop and apply population genetic method on full genomes to address these questions in both living and ancestral species.

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Waiting for good mutations

We know intuitively that individuals from small isolated populations are often more related with each than individuals in large populations are. Whereas closely related individuals have a shared relative in the recent past, distantly related individuals will have to look back many many generations to find such a common ancestor. This leaves more time for genomic mutations to produce differences between the two individuals, and this is why individuals from large populations show more differences between their genomes than individuals from a small one do.

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Selective sweeps across twenty million years of primate evolution

Our paper in MBE shows how patterns of incomplete lineage sorting measures linked selection on evolutionary timescales. We show that a large portion of linked selection is due to selective sweeps and that the human-chimpanzee ancestor experienced a substantially higher frequency of sweeps than did the human-orangutang ancestor. These ancestral sweeps are enriched for sweeps in modern humans suggesting that several regions of the genome are repeatedly hit by sweeps.

Link to paper

Applied programming 2015 week seven


None. Keep revisiting what we have been through at lectures and in the online book.


The Thursday lecture is canceled.  At the Tuesday lecture we will treat some of the issues you find most difficult, we will evaluate the course and talk about the exam.

Exercises  (TØ)

The exercise for this week is about assembling genome sequence from sequencing reads. You can find a link to the exercise in the outline table on the course page.

Mandatory assignment

This is the last week so there is no assignment.