Skip to Content UTAS Home | Contacts
University of Tasmania Home Page Site Title

KMA414: Phylogenetics

Unit description

Phylogenetics is concerned with inferring the evolutionary history of groups of species - a central task for evolutionary biologists. Over the last 2 decades a wealth of molecular sequence data has become available to address phylogenetic questions. Furthermore, the algorithms and models used to infer evolutionary trees have become increasingly sophisticated and informed by mathematical and statistical considerations.

In this unit we aim to cover the main techniques used in phylogenetics with an emphasis on the mathematical and statistical underpinnings of the algorithms and models used. Ideas encountered in this unit will include: algorithms, optimisation and heuristics, dynamic programming, stochastic models of evolution, statistical techniques such as Maximum likelihood, Bayesian inference using Monte Carlo Markov Chains, the bootstrap, model selection criteria.

While the unit is offered through the mathematics discipline we welcome graduate level biology students who are interested in either formally taking or auditing the unit, and will be happy to discuss alternative assessment that requires less of a mathematical background.

Staff involved include: Dr Barbara Holland, Dr Jeremy Sumner and Dr Michael Woodhams.

Contact hours: 2 lectures per week.

Assessment: 5 x 20% assignments.

For further information about this unit please contact Barbara Holland
Phone: (03) 6226 1990
Fax: (03) 62262410