November 2007

November 30, 2007

* Oct 31-Nov 2nd
Rick Ree attended EOL Plant Meeting at Missouri Botanical Gardens (St. Louis, MO).

* Nov 1st
Dr. Torsten Dikow was awarded and accpted a postdoctoral fellowship at BioSynC, will start in mid-January.

* Nov 6th
Jim Edwards, David Patterson and Mark Westneat presented EOL and BioSynC at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (Duke University).

* Nov 13th
Neil Sarkar visited BioSynC to discuss aging and demography data in the EOL with Mark Westneat.

October 2007

October 30, 2007

* Oct 22nd-24th
Mark Westneat attends the Phyloinformatics Workshop at the e-science Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“As phylogenetics scales up to grapple with the tree of life, new informatics challenges have emerged. Some are essentially algorithmic - the underlying problem of inferring phylogeny is computationally very hard. Large trees not only pose computational problems, but can be hard to visualise and navigate efficiently. Methodological issues abound, such as what is the most efficient way to mine large databases for phylogenetic analysis, and is the 'tree of life' the appropriate metaphor given evidence for extensive lateral gene transfer and hybridisation between different branches of the tree. Phylogenies themselves are intrinsically interesting, but their real utility to biologists comes when they are integrated with other data from genomics, geography, stratigraphy, ecology, and development. This poses informatics challenges, ranging from the more general problem of integrating diverse sources of biological data, to how best to store and query phylogenies. Can we express phylogenetic queries using existing database langauges, or is it time for a phylogenetic query language? All these topics can be gathered together under the heading 'phyloinformatics'. This workshop brings together researchers with backgrounds in biology, computer science, databasing, and mathematics. The aim is to survey the state of the art, present new results, and explore more closely the connections between these topics. The 3 day workshop will consist of 10 talks from invited experts (45 minutes each), plus 3 group discussion sessions (45 mins - 1 hour each). A poster session will be held in the middle of the meeting for investigators who wish to present their results, and there be also be time set aside for additional discussion and interaction.”

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