Entité de rattachement
UMR 7206 - Anthropologie Génétique (AGène)
Thème interdisciplinaire de recherche
Génétique des Populations - Modélisation
Habilité(e) à diriger des recherches
Génétique des Populations


frederic.austerlitz [at] mnhn.fr
+33 (0)


Responsabilities within Eco-Anthropology Lab

2019-            Coordinator of the team "Genetic Anthropology"

2019-            Nominated member of the Laboratory Council of UMR 7206 Éco-anthropologie

2014-2018    Elected member of the Laboratory Council of UMR 7206 Éco-anthropologie

2014-2018    Co-Coordinator of the team "Evolutionary Anthropology"

Other Responsabilities

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (National Museum of Natural Histoty)

2023-            Elected member of the Scientific Council of the National Museum of Natural History

2019-2023    Alternate elected member of the Scientific Council of the National Museum of Natural History

2018-           Scientific co-coordinator of the intensive computing platform

2018-2021    Elected member of the Council of the "Man and the Environment" Department

Other institutions

2019-           Member of the Scientific Council of the GDR 3765 "Approche Interdisciplinaire de l'Evolution Moléculaire"

Editorial board memberships

2023-            Journal of Evolutionary Biology (associate editor)

2012-            Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Resources (associate editor)

2009–2012   Journal of Evolutionary Biology (reviewing editor)

Selected Publications


(full publication list below or see my Google Scholar page)


  • Guez J, Achaz G, Bienvenu F, Cury J, Toupance B, Heyer E, Jay F*, Austerlitz F*. (2023). Cultural transmission of reproductive success impacts genomic diversity, coalescent tree topologies and demographic inferences. Genetics 223: iyad007. doi: 10.1093/genetics/iyad007


  • Masi S.*, Austerlitz F. *, Chabaud C., Lafosse S., Marchi N., Georges M., Dessarps-Freichey F., Miglietta S., Sotto-Mayor A., San Galli A., Meulman E., Pouydebat E., Krief S., Todd A., Fuh T., Breuer T., Ségurel L. (2021) No evidence for female kin association, indications for extragroup paternity, and sex-biased dispersal patterns in wild western gorillas. Ecology and Evolution 11: 7634-7646 (* = equal contributions). doi:10.1002/ece3.7596


  • Fagny M., Austerlitz F. (2021). Polygenic adaptation: Integrating population genetics and gene regulatory networks. Trends in Genetics 37: 631-638. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2021.03.005


  • Jay F, Boitard S, Austerlitz F 2019. An ABC method for whole-genome sequence data: inferring Paleolithic and Neolithic human expansions. Molecular Biology and Evolution 36: 1565-1579. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msz038


  • Thouzeau V, Mennecier P, Verdu P*, Austerlitz F* 2017. Genetic and linguistic histories in Central Asia inferred using approximate Bayesian computations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 284: 20170706. doi: 10.1098/Rspb.2017.0706


  • Boitard S., Rodriguez W., Jay F., Mona S., Austerlitz F. (2016) Inferring population size history from large samples of genome wide molecular data - an approximate Bayesian computation approach. PLoS Genetics 12 : e1005877. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005877


  • Verdu P., Becker N. S. A., Froment A., Georges M., Grugni V., Quintana-Murci L., Hombert J.-M., Van der Veen L., Le Bomin S., Bahuchet S., Heyer E. & Austerlitz F. (2013) Sociocultural behavior, sex-biased admixture and effective population sizes in Central African Pygmies and non-Pygmies. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30 : 918-937. doi:10.1093/molbev/mss328


  • Palstra, F. P., Heyer, E., & Austerlitz, F. (2015). Statistical inference on genetic data reveals the complex demographic history of human populations in central Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32(6), 1411-1424. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv030


  • Aimé C., Laval G., Patin E., Verdu P., Ségurel L., Chaix R., Hegay T., Quintana-Murci L., Heyer E. & Austerlitz F. (2013) Human genetic data reveal contrasting demographic patterns between sedentary and nomadic populations, predating the emergence of farming. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30 : 2629–2644. doi:10.1093/molbev/mst156


  • Fontaine M. C., Snirc A., Frantzis A., Koutrakis E., Ozturk B., Ozturk A. A. & Austerlitz, F. (2012) History of expansion and anthropogenic collapse in a top marine predator of the Black Sea estimated from genetic data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 : E2569-E2576. doi:10.1073/pnas.1201258109


  • Austerlitz F.*, Gleiser G.*, Teixeira S. & Bernasconi G. (2012) The effects of inbreeding, genetic dissimilarity and phenotype on male reproductive success in a dioecious plant. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences 279 : 91-100. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0652


  • Blum M. G. B., Heyer E., François O. & Austerlitz F. (2006) Matrilineal fertility inheritance detected in hunter-gatherer populations using the imbalance of gene genealogies. PLoS Genetics 2 : e122. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0020122


  • Austerlitz F., Dick C. W., Dutech C., Klein E. K., Oddou-Muratorio S., Smouse P. E. & Sork V. L. (2004) Using genetic markers to estimate the pollen dispersal curve. Molecular Ecology 13 : 937-954. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2004.02100.x


  • Dick CW, Etchelecu G, Austerlitz F. 2003. Pollen dispersal of tropical trees (Dinizia excelsa: Fabaceae) by native insects and African honeybees in pristine and fragmented Amazonian rainforest. Molecular Ecology 12:753-764.  doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.2003.01760.x


  • Austerlitz F. & Heyer E. (1998) Social transmission of reproductive behavior increases frequency of inherited disorders in a young-expanding population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 95 : 15140-15144. doi: 10.1073/pnas.95.25.15140


2012– CNRS Research director. Laboratoire Éco-anthropologie, Paris, France.

2010–2012  CNRS Research associate. Laboratoire Éco-anthropologie, Paris, France.

2002–2010  CNRS Research associate. Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Orsay, France

2000–2002 Researcher at INRA Bordeaux (France).

1999–2000 Postdoctoral fellow. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ, USA). Supervisor Peter Smouse. Subject : “Estimation of instantaneous pollen flow”.


 2005 Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (Specific French diploma allowing to supervise PhD Students). Diploma delivered by Université Paris-Sud.

1995–1999 PhD thesis in population genetics at the Université de Paris-Sud (Orsay, France). Subject : “On the impact of demographic processes on genetic diversity” (Supervisors P.-H. Gouyon and E. Heyer).

1994–1995 D.E.A. (Master Degree) in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution. Université Paris-Sud (Orsay, France).

1993–1995 Ecole du Génie Rural des Eaux and Forets (French school for water, Forests and Environment Engineering)

1990–1993 Ecole Polytechnique (Polytechnic School)

Main research grants

2022–2025 Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence, Alliance Sorbonne Université. Projet “ Inferring the history of human populations from polymorphism data of ancient and modern genomes by ABC and machine learning methods ” (coordinator). Funds Arnaud Quelin's thesis.

2021-2024  Institute of computing and data sciences. Alliance Sorbonne Université. Projet “Inférence des processus démographiques, culturels et adaptatifs à partir des données genomiques” (coordinator). Funds Ferdinand Petit's PhD Thesis

2020–2021. European Union. Marie-Curie grant PATTERNS “Detecting polygenic adaptation targeting gene expression regulation in humans using eQTL networks” (coordinator). Funded Maud Fagny's postdoc.

2014–2018 Agence Nationale de la Recherche, grant AGHRUM « Evaluating mechanisms of genetic adaptation to rapid environmental changes : agriculture and the human model » (partner).

2013–2015. Labex BCDiv grant « Inferring natural selection from large scale genetic data » (coordinator).

2013–2015. Agence Nationale de la Recherche, grant Demochips « Inference of demographic history from large DNA polymorphism data » (coordinator).

2008–2011. Agence Nationale de la Recherche, grant NUTGENEVOL « Deciphering the complex evolution of genes involved in human adaptation to diet » (partner).

2006–2010. European Network of Excellence EVOLTREE (partner).

PhD students

Ferdinand Petit (co-supervisor : Fanny Pouyet)

Arnaud Quelin (co-supervisor : Flora Jay)

Former students

Léa Bouteille (co-supervisors: Laure Ségurel and Marianne Elias)

Jérémy Guez (co-supervisors :  Evelyne Heyer and Flora Jay)

Christophe Coste (with Samuel Pavard)

Valentin Thouzeau (with Paul Verdu)

Carla Aimé

Jean-Tristan Brandenburg (with Bruno Toupance)

Michaël Blum (with Olivier François)

Raphaëlle Chaix (with Evelyne Heyer)

Former postdocs

Angeles de Cara

Flora Jay

Friso Palstra

Maud Fagny

Michaël Fontaine

Bénédicte Rhoné


Poldisp : a software package for indirect estimation of contemporary pollen dispersal.

Mathematica notebooks for the joint estimation of the growth rate and the age of mutations. (ref. : Austerlitz et al 2003 Genetics 165 : 1579-1586)

PopSizeABC : a package allowing to estimate population size histories from large samples of genome wide SNP data using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC)

PopLingSim and PLS2: programs for the simulation of linguistic data.

DemoSEQ: Inferring demographic history from whole-genome sequence data using summary statistics



Current teaching

2022– Genetic Drift or Random Sorting of Variants through Demographic Processes. Module “Mechanisms of evolution”. Evogem master (4 hours/year).

2004– “Evolutionary Genetics” module for the IMaLiS Master (1st year). Ecole Normale Supérieure (3 to 9 hours/year). Basics, theory of coalescence, measurement of the genetic structure of populations, with practical work on the computer. Performed in English. (Module organizer).

Past teaching

2012–2020 Genetic Drift or Random Sorting of Variants through Demographic Processes. Module “Mechanisms of evolution”. MNHN doctoral school (4 hours/year).

2004–2016 Master 2nd year “Population Genomics” module (3 to 9 hours/year). Advanced coalescence theory, methods for estimating demographic parameters from genetic data. Performed in English in some years. (co-organizer of the module).

2011 Lectures and computer labs “Methods for the statistical analysis of reproductive success and relatedness in plants and animals”. (12 hours). University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Performed in English.

2010–2014 Conference “Genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees”. Master (1st year) at MNHN (2h/year)

2010–2013 Conference “Basics of population genetics”. “Human genetics and infectious diseases” module. Pasteur Institute, Paris. (1.5 hours/year)

2009–2013 Lecture course “Impact of demographic processes on genetic diversity and the frequency of genetic diseases” given in Master of Medicine (1st year), University of Paris VII (2h/year)

2009 Conference for doctoral students, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (1 hour). "Inference of demographic processes from genetic diversity in humans". Performed in English.

2009 Lectures and practical work on computer “Two-generation analysis of pollen flows through a landscape” for doctoral students and scientists financed by the European Network of Excellence EVOLTREE. University of Bydgoszcz, Poland (6 hours). Performed in English.

2009 Conference for doctoral students, University of Sendai, Japan (1 hour). "Inference of demographic processes from genetic diversity using coalescence-based methods in humans". Performed in English.

2008–2013 Courses for doctoral students at the MNHN. DNA barcode module. Conference on the comparison between the methods available for DNA barcoding. (3 hours/year). Performed in English.

2006–2009 ERAMUS European courses “Mathematics in plant biology” for doctoral students Computer courses and practical work in genetic modeling of populations (3 hours). Performed in English.

2005–2008 Population genetics. Methods for detecting adaptation from population genetic data. 2nd year Master “Multifactorial Genetics” (3h/year).

2002–2006 Population genetics (3h/year) at the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon (1st year). Coalescent theory.

1997–2003 Population genetics (3h/year) in the Masters in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (Universities of Paris VI, VII, XI, I.N.A.-P.G., M.N.H.N.). Coalescent theory.

1996-1998 Population genetics at the E.N.G.R.E.F. (1st year) Bases and coalescent theory (3 to 6 hours/year).

1995–1996 Computer science for undergraduate students at Paris-Sud University, Orsay. 24 hours/year.


  • Guez Jérémy, Achaz Guillaume, Bienvenu François, Cury Jean, Toupance Bruno, Heyer Évelyne, Jay Flora & Austerlitz Frédéric, 2023Cultural transmission of reproductive success impacts genomic diversity, coalescent tree topologies, and demographic inferences. Cultural transmission of reproductive success has been observed in many human populations as well as other animals. Cultural… Genetics vol. 223, n° 4, iyad007 Type: Journal Article
  • Thouzeau Valentin, Affholder Antonin, Mennecier Philippe, Verdu Paul & Austerlitz Frédéric, 2022Inferring linguistic transmission between generations at the scale of individuals. Historical linguistics strongly benefited from recent methodological advances inspired by phylogenetics. Nevertheless, no… Journal of Language Evolution vol. 7, n° 2, p. 200-212 Type: Journal Article
  • Fagny Maud & AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, 2021Polygenic adaptation: Integrating population genetics and gene regulatory networks. Trends in Genetics vol. 37, n° 7, p. 631-638 Type: Journal Article
  • Marden Emily, Abbott Richard J., AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, Ortiz-Barrientos Daniel, Baucom Regina S., Bongaerts Pim, Bonin Aurélie, Bonneaud Camille, Browne Luke, Alex Buerkle C., Caicedo Ana L., Coltman David W., Cruzan Mitchell B., Davison Angus, DeWoody J. Andrew et al., 2021Sharing and reporting benefits from biodiversity research. Molecular Ecology vol. 30, n° 5, p. 1103-1107 Type: Journal Article
  • Fountain-Jones Nicholas M., Smith Megan L. & Austerlitz Frédéric, 2021Machine learning in molecular ecology. Molecular Ecology Resources vol. 21, n° 8, p. 2589-2597 Type: Journal Article
  • Priehodová Edita, AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, Cízková Martina, Novácková Jana, Ricaut François-Xavier, Hofmanová Zuzana, Schlebusch Carina & Cerný Viktor, août 2020Sahelian pastoralism from the perspective of variants associated with lactase persistence.. American Journal of Physical Anthropology , , e24116
  • Labouisse Jean-Pierre, Cubry Philippe, AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, Rivallan Ronan & Nguyen Hong Anh, mars 2020New Insights on Spatial Genetic Structure and Diversity of Coffea Canephora (Rubiaceae) in Upper Guinea Based on Old Herbaria. Plant Ecology and Evolution vol. 153, n° 1, p. 82-100
  • JAY Flora, Boitard Simon & AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, juillet 2019An ABC Method for Whole-Genome Sequence Data: Inferring Paleolithic and Neolithic Human Expansions. Molecular Biology and Evolution vol. 36, n° 7, p. 1565-1579
  • Kgokolo M., Morice-Picard F., Rezvani H., AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, Cartault F., Sarasin A., Sathekge M., Taieb A. & Ged C., juillet 2019Xeroderma Pigmentosum in South Africa: Evidence for A Prevalent Founder Effect. British Journal of Dermatology vol. 181, n° 5, p. 1070-1072
  • Gazal Steven, Espinoza Jose, AUSTERLITZ Frédéric, Marchant Dominique, Macarlupu Jose Luis, Rodriguez Jorge, Ju-Preciado Hugo, Rivera-Chira Maria, Hermine Olivier, Leon-Velarde Fabiola, Villafuerte Francisco, Richalet Jean-Paul & Gouya Laurent, juillet 2019The Genetic Architecture of Chronic Mountain Sickness in Peru. Frontiers in Genetics vol. 10, , p. 690