Timothy McInerney, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University
Character Compatibility Analysis Part II
Investigating the causes of phylogenetic collapse in human mitochondria
In the previous week, Shaun Lehmann presented character compatibility analysis and its effect on the human mitochondrial phylogenetic tree. A complex evolutionary history of the human mitochondria may be one explanation for the observed phylogenetic collapse. Here I present our methods to test the null hypothesis that a neutral evolutionary history is a sufficient explanation, as well as methods for investigating alternate hypotheses, including migration within an unstructured population and natural selection. Studies of human evolutionary history often use the mitochondria on the assumption that it is evolving neutrally; inference that a non-neutral demographic history is required to explain the collapse will have significant implications for our understanding of human evolution.
Tara-Lyn Carter, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University
Character Compatibility Analysis Part III
Application to Indigenous Australian and New Guinean mitochondrial genomes
To follow from Shaun and Tim, I will present how character compatibility can be applied to specific world regions to make inferences about relationships of populations and migration patterns. With a focus on the peopling of Sahul (Australia and New Guinea) I will provide a brief theoretical context of how mitochondrial genomes have been used to study this area in the past. I will explain how character compatibility changes the topology of the tree, and how the hypotheses that we present to explain this can be applied to Australian populations specifically.