Category: 2013 WS Online Lectures

Using Markov decision processes to find optimal ways to manage ecological systems – Tracy Rout

Managers of ecological systems must make decisions in the face of considerable uncertainty. This arises for three reasons: natural systems are variable and unpredictable, we cannot observe them precisely, and we usually don’t understand exactly how they work. Markov decision … Read more


Optimisation tools for biodiversity conservation – Professor Hugh Possingham

I will show how mathematical problem definition and control theory tools can be used to formulate and solve problems for biodiversity conservation. Download


Essential graph theory for biologists – Nicholas Hamilton

One of the simplest yet most useful structures in mathematics is the graph. The essence of a graph is to model pairwise relations between objects by defining a set of vertices or nodes, and edges that connect the vertices. Graphs … Read more


The road to genomic medicine is paved with data and information – John Quackenbush

Since the introduction of second ‐ generation DNS sequencing technologies in 2007, the cost of genome sequencing has decreased consistently by 33% per quarter, with the $1,000 genome arriving in 2012 and the $100 genome not far off. As DNA … Read more


Introduction to integrative systems approaches to modelling biological processes – John Quackenbush

The sequencing of the first draft human genome more than 10 years ago delivered a “parts list” consisting of the genes that comprise human cells. The completed genome promised to revolutionize our understanding of a range of fundamental biological processes … Read more


Interpreting the molecular tree of life – What happened in early evolution? – Norman Pace

Molecular phylogenetic trees provide an increasingly robust view of the early course of evolution and the three lines of descent that emerged from the origin of life, >3.8 billion years ago. We can now begin to interpret the results and … Read more


Building and using detection models for ecological surveys – Cindy Hauser

Ecologists routinely conduct surveys to identify the presence, absence or abundance of a species they’re interested in. However there’s always a risk that they fail to detect what’s there: surveys can rarely cover the entire territory of interest; a bird … Read more


The ecological and economic implications of larval dispersal in reef fish communities – Michael Bode

To maintain coral reef biodiversity and sustainably manage fish populations, we must understand the larval dispersal that connects fish populations on separate reefs. Although computational and genetic breakthroughs now allow us to measure the movement of larval (newly spawned juvenile … Read more


Rational design of genetic circuits for use in synthetic biology – Keith Shearwin

Synthetic biology endeavours to apply engineering principles to the design and construction of new biological circuits. At present, our ability to read (sequence) and write (chemically synthesise) genetic information far exceeds our ability to rationally design new biological circuits. However, … Read more


Improving genome assemblies, assessing structural variation and trait association using chromosome genomics and Illumina skim genotyping by sequencing – David Edwards

The genome sequence of an organism provides the basis for gene discovery, the analysis of genetic variation and the association of genomic variation with heritable traits. Genome sequence variation can range from single nucleotide polymorphisms to presence/absence of large regions … Read more