Upcoming Statistics Seminar – Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Joint Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium

“The Yule-Coalescent Hierarchical Model”
Dr. James Degnan, University of New Mexico

Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 165 Everitt
Sponsor: Departments of Mathematics and Statistics

Evolutionary biologists work with data at multiple levels which can be integrated into a hierarchical model: branching processes to model populations splitting (speciation), genes forming trees of ancestry within these populations, and mutations in genetic lineages.  Although much work has been done on each of these levels separately, there is much to understand regarding how the levels interact. By averaging effects at intermediate levels, we can study impacts of higher level processes, such as speciation and extinction rates, on lower levels, such as patterns in gene trees and DNA sequences, and in turn estimate parameters from higher levels using data collected at the lower levels.  In this talk I will examine some consequences of the Yule branching process model of speciation on distances between evolutionary trees and measures of tree balance.