Brendan D. O'Fallon

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Coalescent theory provides an elegant and powerful method for understanding the shape of gene genealogies and resulting patterns of genetic diversity. However, the coalescent does not naturally accommodate the effects of heritable variation in fitness. Although some methods are available for studying the effects of strong selection (Ns >> 1), few tools(More)
MOTIVATION Accurate determination of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from next-generation sequencing data is a significant challenge facing bioinformatics researchers. Most current methods use mechanistic models that assume nucleotides aligning to a given reference position are sampled from a binomial distribution. While such methods are sensitive,(More)
Since the advent of next-generation sequencing many previously untestable hypotheses have been realized. Next-generation sequencing has been used for a wide range of studies in diverse fields such as population and medical genetics, phylogenetics, microbiology, and others. However, this novel technology has created unanticipated challenges such as the large(More)
The extent to which selective forces shape patterns of genetic and genealogical variation is unknown in many species. Recent theoretical models have suggested that even relatively weak purifying selection may produce significant distortions in gene genealogies, but few studies have sought to quantify this effect in humans. Here, we employ a reconstruction(More)
Identification of the genetic alterations responsible for human disease is a central challenge facing medical genetics. While many algorithms have been developed to predict the degree of damage caused by a given sequence alteration, few tools are able to incorporate information about a given phenotype of interest. Here, we describe an algorithm and(More)
The serial coalescent extends traditional coalescent theory to include genealogies in which not all individuals were sampled at the same time. Inference in this framework is powerful because population size and evolutionary rate may be estimated independently. However, when the sequences in question are affected by selection acting at many sites, the(More)
Accurate reconstruction of the divergence times among individuals is an essential step toward inferring population parameters from genetic data. However, our ability to reconstruct accurate genealogies is often thwarted by the evolutionary forces we hope to detect, most prominently natural selection. Here, I demonstrate that purifying selection acting at(More)
Sewall Wright's shifting balance theory of evolution posits a mechanism by which a structured population may escape local fitness optima and find a global optimum. We examine a one-locus, two-allele model of underdominance in populations with differing spatial arrangements of demes, both analytically and with Monte Carlo simulations. We find that inclusion(More)
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