Statistical methods in relatedness and pedigree analysis

This course is full. All who registers now will be placed on the waiting list.

Dates: January 6-10, 2020

Location: University of Oslo, Domus Medica, Seminarrom 1151

Lecturers: Magnus Dehli Vigeland (UiO), Thore Egeland (NMBU)

Recommended credits: 4 ECTS. Note that this course runs without a UiO course code, but has been approved by the UiO Faculty of Medicine. We will provide a letter confirming this approval and a diploma describing the work load after the course, to be approved at your local institution.

Practical information and updated program can be found here.

Registration: The course is full and we have a waiting list HERE

Summary: The course introduces statistical methods in genetic relatedness and pedigree analysis, with applications in linkage analysis, relatedness inference and forensic genetics.


The study of genetic relatedness and how genetic information flows in families, is central in a variety of important research fields, including medical genetics, forensics and animal breeding. The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the elegant concepts and results forming the theoretical foundation of genetic relatedness, and to present in some detail several modern applications. In the exercises we will use R and the ped suite of packages for pedigree analysis.


Learning outcome:

After completing the course the student should have knowledge about:
* classical concepts and methods of statistical genetics
* important applications of pedigrees and relatedness, including forensic genetics and linkage analysis in medical genetics
* software for visualising and analysing pedigree data



Basic knowledge of genetics and probability.

All participants should bring a laptop with the R software installed (available from


Course program:

09-11 Introduction to pedigree genetics and R
11-12 Exercises
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Likelihoods on pedigrees. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

15-16:30 Exercises


09-11 Relatedness I: IBD and coefficients of relatedness
11-12 Exercises
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Relatedness II: Why some siblings are more equal than others

15-16:30 Exercises


09-11 Recombination and genetic linkage

11-12 Exercises
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Linkage analysis in medical genetics

15-16:30 Exercises


09-11 Inference of relatedness and pedigree reconstruction

11-12 Exercises
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Forensics I: Paternity cases, complex identifcation cases

15-16:30 Exercises


09-11 Forensics II: Family reunions

11-12 Exercises
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Case studies. Wrap-up

15-16:30 Exercises