Prof Oscar Gaggiotti

MASTS Professor

tel: 01334 463513
room: E38  (Bute)
Bute Building
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

General Information

Oscar Gaggiotti is a MASTS professor. His research focuses on the study of spatial patterns of genetic diversity to better understand the evolutionary and ecological processes responsible for their origin and maintenance. To this end he develops ecologically realistic population genetics theory and methods using a framework based on the metapopulation paradigm and Bayesian statistics.

With his research group he has developed several statistical approaches that can simultaneously utilize the information provided by different types of data (genetic, demographic, environmental) and has applied them to two research problems:

  • Statistical inference of the demographic history and ecology of populations,
  • Study of local adaptation to understand the molecular bases of phenotypic variation.


Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution (2014-current)

Associate Editor, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2013-current)

Reviews Editor, Heredity (2011-current)

Board of Reviewing Editors, Journal of Evolutionary Biology (2010-2015)

Subject Editor, Molecular Ecology Resources (2009-2014)

Associate Editor and Deputy Section Editor, BMC Genetics (2009-2013)


Recent Publications

Christie, M, Meirmans, P, Gaggiotti, OE, Toonen, R & White, C 2017, 'Disentangling the relative merits and disadvantages of parentage analysis and assignment tests for inferring population connectivity' ICES Journal of Marine Science. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsx044
Gaggiotti, OE 2017, 'Metapopulation of marine species with larval dispersal: a counterpoint to Ilkka's Glanville fritillary metapopulations' Annales Zoologici Fennici.
Robledo-Arnuncio, JJ & Gaggiotti, OE 2017, 'Estimating contemporary migration rates: effect and joint inference of inbreeding, null alleles and mistyping' Journal of Ecology, vol 105, no. 1, pp. 49-62. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12680
Gomez Fernandez, MJ, Boston, ESM, Gaggiotti, OE, Kittlein, MJ & Mirol, PM 2016, 'Influence of environmental heterogeneity on the distribution and persistence of a subterranean rodent in a highly unstable landscape' Genetica, vol 144, no. 6, pp. 711-722. DOI: 10.1007/s10709-016-9937-7
Gagnaire, P-A & Gaggiotti, OE 2016, 'Detecting polygenic selection in marine populations by combining population genomics and quantitative genetics approaches' Current Zoology, vol 62, no. 6, pp. 603-616. DOI: 10.1093/cz/zow088
Vatsiou, A, Bazin, E & Gaggiotti, OE 2016, 'Changes in selective pressures associated with human population expansion may explain metabolic and immune related pathways enriched for signatures of positive selection' BMC Genomics, vol 17, 504. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-2783-2
Selkoe, K, Gaggiotti, OE, Treml, E, Wren, J, Donovan, M, Consortium, Hawaii Reef Connectivity & Toonen, R 2016, 'The DNA of coral reef biodiversity: predicting and protecting genetic diversity of reef assemblages' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 283, no. 1829, 20160354. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0354
de Villemereuil, P, Gaggiotti, OE, Mouterde, M & Till-Bottraud, I 2016, 'Common garden experiments in the genomic era: new perspectives and opportunities' Heredity, vol 116, no. 3, pp. 249-254. DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2015.93
Vatsiou, A, Bazin, E & Gaggiotti, OE 2016, 'Detection of selective sweeps in structured populations: a comparison of recent methods' Molecular Ecology, vol 25, no. 1, pp. 89-103. DOI: 10.1111/mec.13360
Carroll, EL, Baker, CS, Watson, M, Alderman, R, Bannister, J, Gaggiotti, OE, Gröcke, D, Patenaude, N & Harcourt, R 2015, 'Cultural traditions across a migratory network shape the genetic structure of southern right whales around Australia and New Zealand' Scientific Reports, vol 5, 16182. DOI: 10.1038/srep16182
de Villemereuil, P & Gaggiotti, OE 2015, 'A new FST method to uncover local adaptation using environmental variables' Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol 6, no. 11, pp. 1248-1258. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12418
Frichot, E, Schoville, S, Pierre, DV, Gaggiotti, OE & Francois, O 2015, 'Detecting adaptive evolution based on association with ecological gradients: orientation matters' Heredity, vol 115, no. 1, pp. 22-28. DOI: doi:10.1038/hdy.2015.7
Espindola, S, Cuarón, AD, Gaggiotti, OE & Vázquez-Domínguez, E 2014, 'High genetic structure of the Cozumel Harvest mice, a critically endangered island endemic: conservation implications' Conservation Genetics, vol 15, no. 6, pp. 1393-1402. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-014-0625-9
Foll, M, Gaggiotti, OE, Daub, JT, Vatsiou, A & Excoffier, L 2014, 'Widespread signals of convergent adaptation to high altitude in Asia and America' American Journal of Human Genetics, vol 95, no. 4, pp. 394-407. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.09.002
Selkoe, KA, Gaggiotti, OE, ToBo Lab, Bowen, BW & Toonen, RJ 2014, 'Emergent patterns of population genetic structure for a coral reef community' Molecular Ecology, vol 23, no. 12, pp. 3064-3079. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12804
de Villemereuil, P, Frichot, E, Bazin, E, Francois, O & Gaggiotti, OE 2014, 'Genome scan methods against more complex models: when and how much should we trust them?' Molecular Ecology, vol 23, no. 8, pp. 2006-2019. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12705
Hoban, S, Arntzen, JW, Bertorelle, G, Bryja, J, Fernandes, M, Frith, K, Gaggiotti, O, Galbusera, P, Godoy, JA, Hauffe, HC, Hoelzel, AR, Nichols, RA, Perez-Espona, S, Primmer, C, Russo, I-RM, Segelbacher, G, Siegismund, HR, Sihvonen, M, Sjogren-Gulve, P, Vernesi, C, Vila, C & Bruford, MW 2013, 'Conservation Genetic Resources for Effective Species Survival (ConGRESS): Bridging the divide between conservation research and practice' Journal for Nature Conservation, vol 21, no. 6, pp. 433-437. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2013.07.005
Hoban, SM, Mezzavilla, M, Gaggiotti, OE, Benazzo, A, van Oosterhout, C & Bertorelle, G 2013, 'High variance in reproductive success generates a false signature of a genetic bottleneck in populations of constant size: a simulation study' BMC Bioinformatics, vol 14, 309. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-14-309
Hoban, S, Gaggiotti, OE, Bertorelle, G & ConGRESS Consortium 2013, 'Sample Planning Optimization Tool for conservation and population Genetics (SPOTG): a software for choosing the appropriate number of markers and samples' Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol 4, no. 3, pp. 299-303. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210x.12025
Hoban, SM, Gaggiotti, OE & Bertorelle, G 2013, 'The number of markers and samples needed for detecting bottlenecks under realistic scenarios, with and without recovery: a simulation-based study' Molecular Ecology, vol 22, no. 13, pp. 3444-3450. DOI: 10.1111/mec.12258
Hoban, SM, Hauffe, HC, Perez-Espona, S, Arntzen, JW, Bertorelle, G, Bryja, J, Frith, K, Gaggiotti, OE, Galbusera, P, Godoy, JA, Hoelzel, AR, Nichols, RA, Primmer, CR, Russo, I-R, Segelbacher, G, Siegismund, HR, Sihvonen, M, Vernesi, C, Vila, C & Bruford, MW 2013, 'Bringing genetic diversity to the forefront of conservation policy and management' Conservation Genetics Resources, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 593-598. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-013-9859-y
Gomez Fernandez, MJ, Gaggiotti, OE & Mirol, P 2012, 'The evolution of a highly speciose group in a changing environment: are we witnessing speciation in the Ibera wetlands?' Molecular Ecology, vol 21, no. 13, pp. 3266-3282. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05598.x
Bellemain, E, Gaggiotti, OE, Fahey, A, Bermingham, E & Ricklefs, RE 2012, 'Demographic history and genetic diversity in West Indian Coereba flaveola populations' Genetica, vol 140, no. 4-6, pp. 137-148. DOI: 10.1007/s10709-012-9665-6
Andrello, M, Nicole, F, Till-Bottraud, I & Gaggiotti, OE 2012, 'Effect of Stage-Specific Vital Rates on Population Growth Rates and Effective Population Sizes in an Endangered Iteroparous Plant' Conservation Biology, vol 26, no. 2, pp. 208-217. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01815.x
Hoban, S, Bertorelle, G & Gaggiotti, OE 2012, 'Computer simulations: tools for population and evolutionary genetics' Nature Reviews Genetics, vol 13, no. 2, pp. 110-122. DOI: 10.1038/nrg3130
Meirmans, PG, Goudet, J, IntraBioDiv Consortium & Gaggiotti, OE 2011, 'Ecology and life history affect different aspects of the population structure of 27 high-alpine plants' Molecular Ecology, vol 20, no. 15, pp. 3144-3155. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05164.x
Gaggiotti, OE 2011, 'Making inferences about speciation using sophisticated statistical genetics methods: look before you leap' Molecular Ecology, vol 20, no. 11, pp. 2229-2232. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05104.x
Safner, T, Miaud, C, Gaggiotti, O, Decout, S, Rioux, D, Zundel, S & Manel, S 2011, 'Combining demography and genetic analysis to assess the population structure of an amphibian in a human-dominated landscape' Conservation Genetics, vol 12, no. 1, pp. 161-173. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-010-0129-1
Gaggiotti, OE 2010, 'Bayesian statistical treatment of the fluorescence of AFLP bands leads to accurate genetic structure inference' Molecular Ecology, vol 19, no. 21, pp. 4586-4588. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04821.x
Csillery, K, Blum, MGB, Gaggiotti, OE & Francois, O 2010, 'Invalid arguments against ABC: Reply to AR Templeton' Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol 25, no. 9, pp. 490-491. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.06.011
Gaggiotti, OE 2010, 'Preface to the special issue: advances in the analysis of spatial genetic data' Molecular Ecology Resources, vol 10, no. 5, pp. 757-759. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02899.x
Gaggiotti, OE & Foll, M 2010, 'Quantifying population structure using the F-model' Molecular Ecology Resources, vol 10, no. 5, pp. 821-830. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02873.x
Csillery, K, Blum, MGB, Gaggiotti, OE & Francois, O 2010, 'Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) in practice' Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol 25, no. 7, pp. 410-418. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.04.001
Beaumont, MA, Nielsen, R, Robert, C, Hey, J, Gaggiotti, O, Knowles, L, Estoup, A, Panchal, M, Corander, J, Hickerson, M, Sisson, SA, Fagundes, N, Chikhi, L, Beerli, P, Vitalis, R, Cornuet, J-M, Huelsenbeck, J, Foll, M, Yang, Z, Rousset, F, Balding, D & Excoffier, L 2010, 'In defence of model-based inference in phylogeography REPLY' Molecular Ecology, vol 19, no. 3, pp. 436-446. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04515.x
Mora, MS, Mapelli, FJ, Gaggiotti, OE, Kittlein, MJ & Lessa, EP 2010, 'Dispersal and population structure at different spatial scales in the subterranean rodent Ctenomys australis' BMC Genetics, vol 11, 9. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2156-11-9
Gaggiotti, OE (ed.) 2010, Recent Advances in Spatial Population Genetics: Molecular Ecology Resources. vol. 10, Wiley-Blackwell.
Gaggiotti, OE, Bekkevold, D, Jorgensen, HBH, Foll, M, Carvalho, GR, Andre, C & Ruzzante, DE 2009, 'Disentangling the effects of evolutionary, demographic, and environmental factors influencing genetic structure of natural populations: Atlantic herring as a case study' Evolution, vol 63, no. 11, pp. 2939-2951. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00779.x
Durand, E, Jay, F, Gaggiotti, OE & Francois, O 2009, 'Spatial Inference of Admixture Proportions and Secondary Contact Zones' Molecular Biology and Evolution, vol 26, no. 9, pp. 1963-1973. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msp106
Kittlein, MJ & Gaggiotti, OE 2008, 'Interactions between environmental factors can hide isolation by distance patterns: a case study of Ctenomys rionegrensis in Uruguay' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 275, no. 1651, pp. 2633-2638. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0816
Naderi, S, Rezaei, H-R, Pompanon, F, Blum, MGB, Negrini, R, Naghash, H-R, Balkiz, O, Mashkour, M, Gaggiotti, OE, Ajmone-Marsan, P, Kence, A, Vigne, J-D & Taberlet, P 2008, 'The goat domestication process inferred from large-scale mitochondrial DNA analysis of wild and domestic individuals' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 105, no. 46, pp. 17659-17664. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804782105
Foll, M & Gaggiotti, OE 2008, 'A Genome-Scan Method to Identify Selected Loci Appropriate for Both Dominant and Codominant Markers: A Bayesian Perspective' Genetics, vol 180, no. 2, pp. 977-993. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.108.092221
Foll, M, Beaumont, MA & Gaggiotti, O 2008, 'An approximate Bayesian computation approach to overcome biases that arise when using amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to study population structure' Genetics, vol 179, no. 2, pp. 927-939. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.107.084541
Faubet, P & Gaggiotti, OE 2008, 'A new Bayesian method to identify the environmental factors that influence recent migration' Genetics, vol 178, no. 3, pp. 1491-1504. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.107.082560
Nichols, C, Herman, J, Gaggiotti, OE, Dobney, KM, Parsons, K & Hoelzel, AR 2007, 'Genetic isolation of a now extinct population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 274, no. 1618, pp. 1611-1616. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.0176
Faubet, P, Waples, RS & Gaggiotti, OE 2007, 'Evaluating the performance of a multilocus Bayesian method for the estimation of migration rates' Molecular Ecology, vol 16, no. 6, pp. 1149-1166. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03218.x
Foll, M & Gaggiotti, O 2006, 'Identifying the environmental factors that determine the genetic structure of Populations' Genetics, vol 174, no. 2, pp. 875-891. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.106.059451
Till-Bottraud, I & Gaggiotti, OE 2006, 'Going back to Darwin's works' Trends in Plant Science, vol 11, no. 10, pp. 471-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.08.003
Waples, RS & Gaggiotti, O 2006, 'What is a population? An empirical evaluation of some genetic methods for identifying the number of gene pools and their degree of connectivity' Molecular Ecology, vol 15, no. 6, pp. 1419-1439. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.02890.x
Gaggiotti, OE 2006, 'Evolutionary population genetics - Were the Vikings immune to HIV?' Heredity, vol 96, no. 4, pp. 280-281. DOI: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800806
Foll, M & Gaggiotti, OE 2005, 'COLONISE: a computer program to study colonization processes in metapopulations' Molecular Ecology Notes, vol 5, no. 3, pp. 705-707. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-8286.01030.x
Manel, S, Gaggiotti, OE & Waples, RS 2005, 'Assignment methods: matching biological questions techniques with appropriate' Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol 20, no. 3, pp. 136-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2004.12.004
Kankare, M, van Nouhuys, S, Gaggiotti, O & Hanski, I 2005, 'Metapopulation genetic structure of two coexisting parasitoids of the Glanville fritillary butterfly' Oecologia, vol 143, no. 1, pp. 77-84. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-004-1782-1
Gaggiotti, OE, Brooks, SP, Amos, W & Harwood, J 2004, 'Combining demographic, environmental and genetic data to test hypotheses about colonisation events in metapopulations' Molecular Ecology, vol 13, no. 4, pp. 811-825. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2003.02028.x
Hanski, I & Gaggiotti, OE 2004, Ecology, genetics and evolution of metapopulations. Elsevier, San Diego.
Hanski, I & Gaggiotti, OE 2004, Metapopulation biology: past, present, and future: Ecology, genetics, and evolution of metapopulations. in I Hanski & OE Gaggiotti (eds), Ecology, genetics, and evolution of metapopulations. Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 3-22.
Gaggiotti, OE & Hanski, I 2004, Mechanisms of population extinction: Ecology, genetics, and evolution of metapopulations. in I Hanski & OE Gaggiotti (eds), Ecology, genetics, and evolution of metapopulations. Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 337-366.
Gaggiotti, OE 2004, Multilocus genotype methods for the study of colonisation processes: Ecology, genetics and evolution of metapopulations. in I Hanski & OE Gaggiotti (eds), Ecology, genetics and evolution of metapopulations. Elsevier, pp. 367-386.
Gaggiotti, OE & Couvet, D 2003, Spatial Genetic Structure. in R Ferrier, U Dieckman, D Couvet & R Buerger (eds), Evolutionary Conservation Biology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 229-243.
Gaggiotti, OE 2003, 'Genetic threats to population persistence' Annales Zoologici Fennici, vol 40, no. 2, pp. 155-168.
Gaggiotti, OE, Jones, F, Lee, WM, Amos, W, Harwood, J & Nichols, RA 2002, 'Patterns of colonization in a metapopulation of grey seals' Nature, vol 416, no. 6879, pp. 424-427. DOI: 10.1038/416424a
Engel, C, Aberg, P, Gaggiotti, OE, Destombe, C & Valero, M 2001, 'Population dynamics and stage structure in a haploid-diploid red seaweed, Gracilaria gracilis' Journal of Ecology, vol 89, no. 3, pp. 436-450.
Gaggiotti, OE & Excoffier, L 2000, 'A simple method of removing the effect of a bottleneck and unequal population sizes on pairwise genetic distances' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 267, no. 1438, pp. 81-87.
Gaggiotti, OE, Lange, O, Rassmann, K & Gliddon, C 1999, 'A comparison of two indirect methods for estimating average levels of gene flow using microsatellite data' Molecular Ecology, vol 8, no. 9, pp. 1513-1520.
Gaggiotti, OE & Vetter, RD 1999, 'Effect of life history strategy, environmental variability, and overexploitation on the genetic diversity of pelagic fish populations' Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol 56, no. 8, pp. 1376-1388.
Gaggiotti, OE, Lee, CE & Wardle, GM 1997, The effect of overlapping generations and population structure on gene-frequency clines: Structured population models in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems. in S Tuljapurkar & H Caswell (eds), Structured population models in marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems. Chapman and Hall, pp. 355-369.
Gaggiotti, OE 1996, 'Population genetic models of source-sink metapopulations' Theoretical Population Biology, vol 50, no. 2, pp. 178-208.
Gaggiotti, OE & Smouse, PE 1996, 'Stochastic migration and maintenance of genetic variation in sink populations' American Naturalist, vol 147, no. 6, pp. 919-945.
GAGGIOTTI, OE & Gaggiotti, OE 1994, 'AN ECOLOGICAL MODEL FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF SEX AND GEOGRAPHIC PARTHENOGENESIS' Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol 167, no. 3, pp. 201-221.
WEEKS, SC, Gaggiotti, OE, SCHENCK, RA, SPINDLER, KP, VRIJENHOEK, RC & Gaggiotti, OE 1992, 'FEEDING-BEHAVIOR IN SEXUAL AND CLONAL STRAINS OF POECILIOPSIS' Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, vol 30, no. 1, pp. 1-6.

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