Workshop Description (Intermediate Course)

Phylogeneticsthe reconstruction of the evolutionary history of a the variety of species known to us, is among the most fundamental and traditional tasks in Biology. With the dramatic developments in molecular biology and the exponential growth in annotated genetic sequences, novel directions and goals have been developed in this seemingly stagnant field. Phylogenetic analysis is now an integral part not only in traditional areas like Evolution, Zoology, or Ecology, but also in immunology, medicine, and other disciplines.

In this workshop, I will review the scientific basis behind the various approaches in phylogenesis, in particular statistical/quantitative approaches that became standard in any modern molecular biology research. A chapter dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic will be included.

Workshop Materials

The following are the different topics to be covered:

  • What is phylogenesis?
  • Phylogenetic data collection
  • Sequence alignment
  • Sequence similarity/distance
  • Distance based methods
  • Character-based methods:
    • Maximum parsimony
    • Maximum Likelihood
  • Likelihood Ratio Test
  • Model testing
  • Viral evolution

Technical Requirements



Dr. Sagi Snir is a professor with the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology at the University of Haifa. His research focuses on mathematical and algorithmic solutions to problems in bioinformatics, in particular in the field of evolutionary tree reconstruction (phylogenetics). The tools we use are from fields such as combinatorial optimization, statistics and probability, mathematics, and information theory. Our research is characterized by ample collaborations with researchers from broad disciplines under the general framework of a systematic analysis of evolutionary processes aiming at finding biologically significant patterns.


Workshop Details

Prerequisites: TBD
Length: 3 days, 3 hrs per day
Level: Introductory
Location: Boyer 529
Seats Available: 28

Spring 2022 Dates

April 12, 13, and 14
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM