Untangling the network of life
Vincent Moulton is Professor in Computational Biology at University of East Anglia, UK. He completed his PhD in 1994 at Duke University, USA, after which he worked as a postdoc at University of Bielefeld, DE, and University of Canterbury/Massey University, NZ. In 1999 he moved to Sweden, where he was employed as Senior Lecturer at Mid Sweden University and then, as of 2002, Professor in Bioinformatics at Uppsala University. He moved to University of East Anglia in 2004.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the evolutionary history of certain organisms (e.g. plants, viruses, bacteria) is not always best represented by a binary leaf-labelled tree. This is due to underlying evolutionary processes such as horizontal gene transfer, recombination and hybridization. Phylogenetic networks provide a framework for exploring and visualizing the complex patterns that can arise from such processes.
Even so, they can be extremely complicated structures, and understanding how to unravel their complexity for modeling
non-treelike evolution has led to several fascinating problems
and results in computer science and mathematics. In this talk we present an overview of phylogenetic networks and discuss some new directions in this rapidly developing area of computational biology.