Can one hear the shape of a population history?

Junhyong Kim, Elchanan Mossel, Miklós Z. Rácz, Nathan Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Reconstructing past population size from present day genetic data is a major goal of population genetics. Recent empirical studies infer population size history using coalescent-based models applied to a small number of individuals. Here we provide tight bounds on the amount of exact coalescence time data needed to recover the population size history of a single, panmictic population at a certain level of accuracy. In practice, coalescence times are estimated from sequence data and so our lower bounds should be taken as rather conservative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • Coalescent
  • Estimation
  • Population size


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