Prof. Dr. Tanja Stadler
A short trip through the tree of life: from Ebola over Diphtheria and Tuberculosis to Penguins
Genetic sequencing data contain a fingerprint of past evolutionary and population dynamic processes. Phylogenetic methods infer evolutionary relationships — the phylogenetic tree — between individuals based on their genetic sequences. Phylodynamics aims to understand the population dynamic processes — such as epidemiological or macroevolutionary processes — giving rise to the phylogenetic tree. I will present the mathematical and computational aspects of our recently developed phylodynamic tools. Then I will discuss epidemiological applications, focussing on the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and a potential emergence of Diphtheria in African refugee camps. Second, I will focus on a macroevolutionary application, shedding light on the radiation of penguins.