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PhyloInformatics Workshop

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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.

The talks from this workshop are available on the eSI Event Material pages.

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