Computational Evolution Lecture Series

As part of the launch of the Centre for Computational Evolution, a mini-symposium was held with speakers across New Zealand and from Australia.

The speakers are using these mathematical models for evolution and ecology to study a growing list of fundamental questions. This includes how diseases spread, how populations spread and adapt to their environment to the evolution of culture and language. The speakers also discussed how this area of research has evolved and what challenges lay ahead.

Lecture series

Darwin's computer: Modelling evolution from fossil records to infectious diseases.

What would have Darwin used a computer for? Professor Alexei Drummond, director of Centre for Computational Evolution explains how evolutionary models and ideas can help to understand a wide range of topics.

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Evolutionary modelling and control of food pathogens

Professor Nigel French uses evolutionary tools to solve real-world problems, and takes us through how his group determined how campylobacteriosis spread and through this enabled policy changes that reduced cases by 50% and saved the economy an estimated $50M per annum since 2007.

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Darwin's regret

Professor Mike Steel takes us through a brief overview of how mathematics and related fields have helped shape the study of evolution and some of the new directions and challenges for the field.

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The Art of the Null: Neutral models in computational evolutionary biology

Professor Allen Rodigo explains how mundane processes or 'null models' in the family of evolutionary processes are far more interesting than you think.

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Next-generation genetics using last generation's mathematics

Professor David Bryant wonders if the coalescent theory practise is perhaps fundamentally limited. It may be time to go old school.

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From viruses to languages

Associate Professor Quentin Atkinson shows how tools developed in the Centre for Computational Evolution to solve problems in biology and epidemiology are being productively adapted to shed light on human cultural evolution in domains as varied as language, religion and the fortunes of nation-states.

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