Coalescent theory represents the most significant progress in theoretical population genetics in the past two decades of this century. It is now widely recognized as a cornerstone for rigorous statistical analyses of molecular data from populations. In the future, challenges from the rapidly expanding body of molecular data will continue to inject fresh blood into the development of coalescent theory. As the 21st century looms, we review recent progress in coalescent theory and discuss some prospects for future developments, particularly with regard to human population genetics.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.