BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

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BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Maximum Parsimony on Phylogenetic Networks Fischer, Mareike


Ever since Darwin’s first sketch of a phylogenetic tree, such trees are the model of choice for most evolutionary studies. But unfortunately, trees are unable to explain phenomena like horizontal gene transfer and hybridization. As many organisms are known to be subject to these evolutionary events, phylogenetic trees are more and more replaced by so-called phylogenetic networks. The aim is then to find the best network for a given dataset according to an optimization criterion. One such criterion often used for phylogenetic tree reconstruction is Maximum Parsimony. In my talk, I will present different ways to extend the parsimony concept from trees to networks, and I will explain some interesting properties of parsimony on networks. In particular, I will show that in networks, even the so-called “small parsimony problem” is hard, and I will also show that, in contrast, the “big” parsimony problem has some trivial solutions. The results presented in my talk are joint work with Leo van Iersel, Steven Kelk and Céline Scornavacca (small parsimony problem) as well as with Christopher Bryant, Simone Linz and Charles Semple (big parsimony problem).

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