Phylomania 2019: It Goes To Eleven


Workshop on Stochastic and Algebraic Models for Genome Evolution

The Eleventh UTAS (mainly) Theoretical Phylogenetics Meeting

November 20th - 22nd, 2019

Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart, TASMANIA


Organized by: Michael Charleston and the rest of the Mathematical Biology Research Group at UTAS

Phylogenetics is concerned with one of the most important problems in biology: reconstructing the evolutionary history of present-day organisms from molecular data, such as DNA, or morphological characters. Hidden from view, in phylogenetics software packages used by biologists, are algorithms implementing stochastic and combinatorial methods on binary trees, as well as more general network structures. The mathematics involved represent a unique confluence of probability theory, discrete mathematics, stochastic methods, and statistical inference, as well as algebraic methods such as group theory. There are many important theoretical and practical problems that arise, such as statistical identifiability of models, consistency and convergence of methods. These problems can only be solved using a multi-disciplinary approach. Phylomania brings together internationally recognised experts, with the aim of discussing the pressing research problems in phylogenetics.


This year Phylomania is actively supported by AMSI — Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, AustMS — the Australian Mathematical Society, and ANZIAM — Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics. We are also extremely grateful to the support of Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers. These generous funding commitments have allowed us to invite several excellent national and international speakers to the conference and workshop. Thank you!

In particular, these major sponsors have allowed us to run on the first day (it was the last but we have had to change it to suit the speakers!),

The Workshop on Stochastic and Algebraic Models for Genome Evolution

This workshop has been organised by the Phylomania Organising Committee (contact details below), Andrew Francis, and Venta Terauds.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Nadia El-Mabrouk (Université de Montréal; supported by AMSI/AustMS/AMZIAM)
  • Distinguished Professor Seth Sullivant (North Carolina State University; supported by AMSI/AustMS/AMZIAM)
  • Dr Sophie Hautphenne (University of Melbourne; supported by ACEMS)
  • Nadia El-Mabrouk is Full Professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of Montreal. She holds a Ph.D. in theoretical Computer Science from the University Paris VII, obtained in 1996. She is member of the Centre de Recherche Mathematiques and the Robert Cedergren Centre for Bioinformatics and Genomics . Her expertise is in Computational Biology and her research focuses on developing algorithmic and mathematical methods for comparative genomics. She is regularly involved in the program committee of bioinformatics and computational biology conferences such as RECOMB, RECOMB-CG, ISMB, ECCB and WABI. She has published over 70 works including journal articles, refereed conference papers and several book chapters.
    Seth Sullivant received his PhD in 2005 from the University of California, Berkeley. After a Junior Fellowship in Harvard's Society of Fellows, he joined the department of mathematics at North Carolina State University in 2008 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to full professor in 2014 and distinguished professor in 2018. Sullivant's work has been honored with a Packard Foundation Fellowship and an NSF CAREER award and he was selected as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He helped to found the SIAM activity group in Algebraic Geometry where he has served as both secretary and chair. Sullivant's current research interests include algebraic statistics, mathematical phylogenetics, applied algebraic geometry, and combinatorics. He has published 55 papers and 2 books in these areas.
    Sophie Hautphenne is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Probability at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of Melbourne, a Scientist at the Chair of Statistics in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS). Since April 2015, she is holding an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) at the University of Melbourne. Sophie obtained her PhD in Mathematics from the Universite libre de Bruxelles in October 2009. Her fields of research are applied probability and stochastic modelling with a particular focus on branching processes, matrix analytic methods and epidemic models. Sophie is particularly interested in biological and ecological applications.

    Code of Conduct

    We are committed to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for all conference participants. By registering for Phylomania, participants agree to abide by this Code of Conduct and to conduct themselves in a professional and appropriate manner. This involves scientific and ethical integrity, respectful and courteous behaviour towards others, and equality of opportunity and treatment for everyone. Discrimination, bullying and harassment of any nature, whether intended or not, is a form of misconduct that has no place at the conference. Any conference participant who wishes to report or discuss an issue related to misconduct is encouraged to contact any member of the Organising Committee, in person or via email. All concerns will be taken under the strictest confidence and treated in due regard.
    Guiding Policies: The Phylomania conference is guided by the framework of Equity & Diversity policies and strategies of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and Australian Mathematical Science Institute (AMSI).

    Travel Support

    This event is sponsored by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). AMSI allocates a travel allowance annually to each of its member universities (for list of members, see Students or early career researchers from AMSI member universities without access to a suitable research grant or other source of funding may apply to the Head of Mathematical Sciences for subsidy of travel and accommodation out of the departmental travel allowance.

    Cheryl Praeger Travel Award

    Female participants are strongly encouraged to apply for conference funding via the excellent Cheryl Praeger Travel Award, which is funded by AustMS



    Group Photo
    Register here.
    Pay HERE.


    The talks will be scheduled for the Wednesday 20th, Thursday 21st, and Friday 22nd. The meeting will start 9am Wednesday and conclude officially at 5pm Friday. We will arrange a group excursion, such as a guided walk (weather permitting) for the following Saturday, depending on numbers and the weather. The conference dinner will be on Thursday night at Kathmandu, a very good local restaurant with really excellent vegetarian cuisine.

    Confirmed Speakers:

  • Professor Nadia El-Mabrouk (Université de Montréal; supported by AMSI/AustMS/AMZIAM)
  • Distinguished Professor Seth Sullivant (North Caroline State University; supported by AMSI/AustMS/AMZIAM)
  • Professor Andrew Francis (Western Sydney University)
  • Professor David Liberles (Temple University)
  • Dr Sophie Hautphenne (University of Melbourne; supported by ACEMS)
  • Professor Terrell Hodge (Western Michigan University)
  • Social Whatnots

  • Twitter Hashtag: #phylomania2019
  • Facebook page: Hah! We don't have one.
  • Long talk, short talk, poster?

    When you register please let us know if you would like to give a a 40 minute talk or a 20 minute talk, and you can always bring a poster. Yes we would love it if you would bring a poster as well as give a talk!


    Registration type AMSI Member Cost Non AMSI Member Cost
    Academic / Professional $160 $200
    Student $110 $140

    The registration cost is to cover catering --- morning and afternoon tea / coffee / snacks, and lunch, and some awards, and is worked out based on previous conferences: we think it's pretty reasonable and we think the food and drink will be excellent. Conference dinner is included in the registration fee. Conference t-shirts will also be available (image of last year's one coming soon) at $20-25AUD (to be determined) which you will also be able to buy in advance or when you turn up. The t-shirt from 2018 is proudly modelled by someone in the crowd above...
    Registration is not payment: once you've registered, you must also go to the payment site and pay because we'll need to buy supplies.

    Local information

    Delegates with parenting responsibilities: UTAS parenting rooms have breastfeeding and changing facilities. The childcare centre on the Sandy Bay campus is managed by Lady Gowrie.
    Phone: +61 3 6226 2088.

    Social Events

    There is a lot to do in Hobart. We will schedule our conference dinner for Thursday night so if you must leave early on Friday, you may. But please don't: there's terrific hiking, the amazing MONA, the Saturday market at Salamanca, an amazing replica of Mawson's Hut, and if you're feeling ridiculously fit, the gruelling Point to Pinnacle half-marathon starts on Sunday the 17th. If I do it I might finish by the 20th.


    For those of you looking to book accommodation early(ish), there are a range of options both near to the Uni and in the City itself. The University of Tasmania Accommodation Services also has a range of cheap(ish) possibilities.

    As well as the University itself, the surrounding suburb of Sandy Bay has a range of accommodation options that will cater to all needs. These are all within walking distance to the University, Hobart city and the wharf area. Some examples of the kind of places that may be available include Grosvenor Court Apartment, St Ives Apartments, Red Awnings Apartments, Apartments at Wolmers, Mayfair Plaza Hotel, and the Blue Hills Hotel. Of course it is also worth checking out Stayz and Airbnb for plenty of great alternative options.

    Beyond Sandy Bay, the city offers a myriad of potential accommodation options (too many to list here).
    The city is within easy walking distance from the University (20 - 30 minutes) but there are also several buses that service the University from the centre of the city.
    For those of you looking for budget accommodation (but possibly loud) the city has a number of hostels.
    These include the Pickled Frog hostel, The Brunswick Hotel, Imperial Hotel, and Hobart Central YHA.

    Organising Committee

    Last modified 27th July 2019 by Michael Charleston.