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Anthropologie, génétique et peuplements
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Lionel Di Santo


General Research Interest

Passionate by species evolution and conservation, my research primarily focuses on using genomics to evaluate the demographic and evolutionary histories of biological organisms and subsequently apply this knowledge to the preservation of biodiversity or a general understanding of species evolution.

Dépt. de Génétique & Evolution
Laboratoire AGP
Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30
1205 Genève / Suisse
+41 22 379 69 40

Current Research

Presently, my work focuses on inter-lineage introgressive hybridization. While a number of methods exist to infer gene flow and characterize introgression, these approaches leverage contemporary genomic data to infer past admixture events. However, with the field of paleogenomics growing, ancient genomes are becoming more and more available. My work in Dr Mathias Currat's group consists in identifying and describing genomic summary statistics that, when estimated on temporally distributed genomes, provide a means to estimate both the timing and number of admixture pulses.


Di Santo, L.N., Quilodran, C.S., and Currat, M. (Under review). Temporal variation in introgressed segments’ length statistics sheds light on past admixture pulses. Molecular Biology and Evolution. DOI:

Di Santo, L.N., Hoban, S.M., Parchman, T.L., Wright, J.W. and Hamilton, J.A. (2022). Reduced representation sequencing to understand the evolutionary history of Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana Parry) with implications for rare species conservation. Molecular Ecology. Early View. DOI:

Di Santo, L.N., Polgar, M., Nies, S., Hodgkiss, P., Canning, C.A., Wright, J.W. and Hamilton, J.A. (2021). Seed morphological traits as a tool to quantify variation maintained in ex situ collections: a case study in Pinus torreyana. AoB Plants. 13(5): plab058. DOI:

Braasch, J.E., Di Santo, L.N., Tarble, Z.J., Prasifka, J.R. and Hamilton, J.A. (2021). Testing for evolutionary change in restoration: A genomic comparison between ex situ, native, and commercial seed sources of Helianthus maximiliani. Evolutionary Applications. 14(9): 2206-2220. DOI:

Di Santo, L.N. and Hamilton, J.A. (2021). Using environmental and geographic data to optimize ex situ collections and preserve evolutionary potential. Conservation Biology. 35(2): 733-744. DOI:

Dufresnes, C., Denoël, M., Di Santo, L.N. and Dubey, S. (2017). Multiple uprising invasions of Pelophylax water frogs, inducing a new hybridogenetic complex. Scientific Reports. 7(1): 1-10. DOI:

Dufresnes, C., Di Santo, L.N., Leuenberger, J., Schuerch, J., Mazepa, G., Grandjean, N., Canestrelli, D., Perrin, N. and Dubey, S. (2017). Cryptic invasion of Italian pool frogs (Pelophylax bergeri) across Western Europe unraveled by multilocus phylogeography. Biological Invasions. 19(5): 1407-1420. DOI:

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