SC1: Stochastic Models in Mathematical Genetics

(Michaelmas Term, 2019)

Simon Myers (

Here you will find links to the course materials. These include notes, and the problem sheets. Notes for weeks 1-4 are now posted those for later weeks are also posted but subject to edits!

Problem sheet solutions are posted after the relevant class.

In addition, below there is a list of book references, and for selected lectures, a bibliography. The books are not essential we will cover the syllabus and examinable material in lectures, but they do give a helpful, different view to some of the material and also contain additional practice problems.

Material is linked to below, approximately assigned to specific lectures (lectures 1-8 cover weeks 1-4, etc). Note though that the timing varies slightly, so I recommend downloading a bit ahead of time.

If you have any questions about the course, spot mistakes (it happens every year!), or have problems downloading material, please email me at the above address.

Notes on lectures 1-8 (gene genealogies and the coalescent: pdf)

Notes on lectures 1-8 (gene genealogies and the coalescent: ppt)

Notes on lectures 9-13 (recombination and the ARG: ppt)

Notes on lectures 14-16 (natural selection: pdf)

Notes on lectures 14-16 (natural selection: ppt)


Problem sheet 1 (pdf)


Problem sheet 2 (pdf)


Problem sheet 3 (pdf)


Problem sheet 4 (pdf)


MSc problem sheet 1 (pdf)


MSc problem sheet 2 (pdf)


MSc problem sheet 3 (pdf)


MSc problem sheet 4 (pdf)



Book references (pdf)

Bibliography for recombination material (weeks 5-7) (pdf)

Guidance: Of the book references, Wakeley is particularly good for the coalescent material (weeks 1-4) and the coalescent with recombination material (weeks 5-7), and Durrett for the selection/diffusion material (chapter 7; weeks 7-8) as well as the coalescent material (chapter 3, weeks 1-7). The Hein book has extensive good discussion of methods for identifying recombination events from data (week 5).

You can also find notes for this course used in some previous years here:

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Graduate opportunities

Oxford is one of the leading institutions in the world for research into both theoretical and applied statistical genetics, with researchers engaged in such research based both within the Department of Statistics, and at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, among other Oxford departments. Oxford-led research has produced groundbreaking insights into disease risk, population history and biology in humans and in a host of other species. If you are interested in postgraduate research in this area in general, please email me to ask about opportunities!