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Forward-time population genetic simulation in Python

Project description

This is the README for fwdpy11, which is a Python package for forward-time population genetic simulation. It uses fwdpp as its C++ back-end.

Build status



Conda status


Python code style:


  • Pickle-able population objects

  • Parallel computation via multiprocessing or concurrent.futures.

  • Custom temporal samplers to analyze populations during a simulation may be written in pure Python.

  • Flexible interface for simulating models with multiple populations.


The manual can be found here.


GPLv3 or later (See COPYING)

Supported Python version

fwdpy11 is written for Python 3. We will not modify the package to be compatible with Python 2.7.

Dependencies and installation

These topics are covered in the user manual:


If you use this software for research, please cite the following publications:

  • Kevin R Thornton. Polygenic adaptation to an environmental shift: temporal dynamics of variation under gaussian stabilizing selection and additive effects on a single trait. Genetics, 213(4):1513–1530, December 2019.

  • Kevin R Thornton. A c++ template library for efficient forward-time population genetic simulation of large populations. Genetics, 198(1):157–166, September 2014.

This software was developed for the first paper. The second paper describes a key part of this software’s back end.

Project details

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