Inferring demography from genomic data
I am working on developing new statistical methods to infer demography from genomic data as well as applying these methods to data. Previous analysis of African A. thaliana data has led to new insights about the early history of this important model species. Ongoing work involves looking at changes in gene flow over time and developing new likelihood-free and approximate likelihood methods for demographic inference.
Understanding positive and negative selection in the human genome
While much of the genetic variation in humans is determined by demography, a substantial portion of the variation within and near genes is determined by the action of positive and negative linked selection. I am working on determining the relative contributions of each and testing the power of existing methods to detect these contributions.
Rare variant association
Much work in the past decade has gone towards understanding the impact of common genetic variation on diseases. While we have answered many questions about the contribution of common variants to diseases and complex traits, questions still remain about the contribution of rare variants coupled with non-equilibrium demography on complex traits. I am working on developing methods to improve our power in detecting rare variants using population genetics theory.