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Can we solve biology's greatest riddles with computers? AUCKLAND

Thurs 17 August
150th Anniversary Regional Lecture


Royal Society Te Apārangi 150th Anniversary Regional Lectures - Future Focussed Local Experts

With Professor Richard Bedford, President of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, on the significance of the Society’s 150 years of Discovery.

This event is presented in association with Auckland Museum Institute (Auckland Branch of Royal Society Te Apārangi).


Can we solve biology's greatest riddles with computers?

In Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin conceived of a grand tree of life that unites all species by evolutionary history. Uncovering the details of this evolutionary tree of life has been hugely accelerated in the last two decades by advances in DNA sequencing and computing. All life on Earth, including our own species, continues to evolve and this process is surprisingly rapid and relevant to modern concerns. However, the digital revolution means, for example, computational analysis of the evolution of human diseases such as HIV, influenza, Hepatitis C, Dengue, Ebola and Zika is increasingly central to effective control and response to these diseases. Professor Alexei Drummond explores some of the cutting-edge research using computers to understand biology and evolution and speculates on how the study of biology might change in the future as computational approaches become more common and powerful.


About the speaker:

Professor Alexei Drummond

Alexei completed his BSc (1996) and PhD in Bioinformatics (2002) at the University of Auckland. He then spent 3 years at the University of Oxford doing post-doctoral research in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Zoology before returning to the University of Auckland in 2005 to take up a Lecturership in Bioinformatics in the Department of Computer Science. Alexei’s research interests are centered around probabilistic models of molecular evolution and population genetics.


photo. North Island robin (Petroica longipes) in the predator-free Tawharanui Regional Park


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Views expressed at this event may not reflect those of Royal Society Te Apārangi


Royal Society Te Apārangi


Auditorium, Auckland Museum The Domain, Parnell, Auckland, Auckland 1010

6:00pm Thu 17 August, 2017 - 7:30pm Thu 17 August, 2017