Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Phylogenetics

3 September - 21 December 2007

Organisers: Professor V Moulton (East Anglia), Professor M Steel (Canterbury) and Professor D Huson (Tubingen)

Programme Theme

Phylogenetics is the reconstruction and analysis of trees and networks to describe and understand the evolution of species, populations and individuals. It is widely used in molecular biology and other areas of classification (such as linguistics), and has both led to and benefited from the development of new mathematical, statistical and computational techniques. Although the foundations of phylogenetics were laid down many decades ago, it is currently experiencing an exciting renaissance due to the wealth and types of biological data that are now becoming available. This programme will bring together key researchers in phylogenetics and related areas to further develop this important area of mathematical biology.

The main themes that will be worked on during this programme are new data types in phylogenetics; modelling reticulate evolution; constructing large trees; probabilistic models of evolution; and phylogenetic combinatorics. These themes provide a rich source of mathematical problems in areas such as combinatorics, graph theory, probability theory, topology, and algebraic geometry. Solutions to these problems will provide new insights to questions that are central to contemporary evolutionary biology.

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