Peter L. Ralph

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Phylogenetic comparative methods may fail to produce meaningful results when either the underlying model is inappropriate or the data contain insufficient information to inform the inference. The ability to measure the statistical power of these methods has become crucial to ensure that data quantity keeps pace with growing model complexity. Through(More)
The recent genealogical history of human populations is a complex mosaic formed by individual migration, large-scale population movements, and other demographic events. Population genomics datasets can provide a window into this recent history, as rare traces of recent shared genetic ancestry are detectable due to long segments of shared genomic material.(More)
Populations can be genetically isolated both by geographic distance and by differences in their ecology or environment that decrease the rate of successful migration. Empirical studies often seek to investigate the relationship between genetic differentiation and some ecological variable(s) while accounting for geographic distance, but common approaches to(More)
Models for detecting the effect of adaptation on population genomic diversity are often predicated on a single newly arisen mutation sweeping rapidly to fixation. However, a population can also adapt to a new environment by multiple mutations of similar phenotypic effect that arise in parallel, at the same locus or different loci. These mutations can each(More)
Recent whole genome polymerase binding assays in the Drosophila embryo have shown that a substantial proportion of uninduced genes have pre-assembled RNA polymerase-II transcription initiation complex (PIC) bound to their promoters. These constitute a subset of promoter proximally paused genes for which mRNA elongation instead of promoter access is(More)
Two major sources of stochasticity in the dynamics of neutral alleles result from resampling of finite populations (genetic drift) and the random genetic background of nearby selected alleles on which the neutral alleles are found (linked selection). There is now good evidence that linked selection plays an important role in shaping polymorphism levels in a(More)
Geographic patterns of genetic variation within modern populations, produced by complex histories of migration, can be difficult to infer and visually summarize. A general consequence of geographically limited dispersal is that samples from nearby locations tend to be more closely related than samples from distant locations, and so genetic covariance often(More)
The mononuclear phagocyte system, formerly called the reticuloendothelial system, is an important element in basic immunology, cell biology, and clinical disease. Secretory products participate in inflammation and immunoregulation. Endocytosis mediated by specific receptors for immunoglobulin and complement or by other opsonins is important in removal of(More)
Identity-by-descent (IBD) is a fundamental concept in genetics with many applications. In a common definition, two haplotypes are said to share an IBD segment if that segment is inherited from a recent shared common ancestor without intervening recombination. Segments several cM long can be efficiently detected by a number of algorithms using high-density(More)
Classical ecological theory predicts that environmental stochasticity increases extinction risk by reducing the average per-capita growth rate of populations. For sedentary populations in a spatially homogeneous yet temporally variable environment, a simple model of population growth is a stochastic differential equation dZ(t) = μZ(t)dt + σZ(t)dW(t), t ≥ 0,(More)