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Simone Linz, Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland


Cherry picking: a new algorithm to reconstruct phylogenetic networks from phylogenetic trees


Owheo 106 - 1:00 pm, Friday 01 May


In evolutionary biology, phylogenetic trees and networks are widely used as a tool to unravel the ancestral history of sets of species. While phylogenetic trees are mostly restricted to represent speciation events, phylogenetic networks additionally allow for the representation of processes, such as hybridization, in which two distinct parental species recombine their genetic material to create a new species. A popular approach to quantify hybridization in a dataset is the reconstruction of a phylogenetic network from a collection of phylogenetic trees. However, such a reconstruction remains mostly elusive for when the input consists of more than two trees. In this talk, we give a new characterization and algorithm to construct a network from an arbitrary number of phylogenetic trees under two time constraints. The characterization is in terms of cherries and the existence of a particular type of sequence on the leaves of the trees. This is joint work with Peter Humphries and Charles Semple.


Simone Linz is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Auckland. Prior to joining the Department in Auckland, she was a Marie Curie Fellow in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury and in the Center for Bioinformatics at the University of Tübingen and funded by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship from the European Commission. She holds a Masters and PhD degree from the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany. Her research interests are in computational biology; in particular algorithmic and combinatorial problems arising in phylogenetics (evolutionary biology).

Last modified: Wednesday, 29-Apr-2015 08:44:14 NZST

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