Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Anthropology, MA

Committee Chair

Tillquist, Christopher

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Crespo, Fabian

Committee Member

Crespo, Fabian

Committee Member

Stevens, Forrest

Author's Keywords

clines; simulations; Nemo; range expansions


Range expansions, empirically and in simulations, lead to clinal patterns of genetic diversity. Clines are often used as spatial markers of past migrations. This study investigated the effects of migration, growth, and carrying capacities on clinal patterns during range expansions, using forward-time simulations in Nemo. Initial results show, in the absence of prior population structure, range expansions result in a loss of diversity strongly affected by migration, growth, and carrying capacity. This loss of diversity did not persist to the final generation, corresponding to 10,000 years, indicating clinal patterns are less durable than previously assumed—challenging the utility of clinal patterns as specific markers of past migrations. Further simulations are necessary to evaluate the effects of large demographic collapses, negative selection, and non equilibrium migration upon clines. While the case study for these experiments is the peopling of Europe, these results are broadly applicable to other human colonization events.