Books  Evolutionary Biology  Cladistics, Phylogeny, Phenology & Taxonomy 

Reconstructing Evolution: New Mathematical and Computational Advances

Edited By: Olivier Gascuel and Mike Steel

318 pages, Figs, tabs

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jun 2007 | #164787 | ISBN-13: 9780199208227
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £56.99 $70/€64 approx

About this book

Evolution is a complex process, acting at multiple scales, from DNA sequences and proteins to populations of species. Understanding and reconstructing evolution is of major importance in numerous subfields of biology. For example, phylogenetics and sequence evolution is central to comparative genomics, attempts to decipher genomes, and molecular epidemiology. Phylogenetics is also the focal point of large-scale international biodiversity assessment initiatives such as the 'Tree of Life' project, which aims to build the evolutionary tree for all extant species.

Since the pioneering work in phylogenetics in the 1960s, models have become increasingly sophisticated to account for the inherent complexity of evolution. They rely heavily on mathematics and aim at modelling and analyzing biological phenomena such as horizontal gene transfer, heterogeneity of mutation, and speciation and extinction processes. This book presents these recent models, their biological relevance, their mathematical basis, their properties, and the algorithms to infer them from data. A number of subfields from mathematics and computer science are involved: combinatorics, graph theory, stringology, probabilistic and Markov models, information theory, statistical inference, Monte Carlo methods, continuous and discrete algorithmics.

This book arises from the Mathematics of Evolution & Phylogenetics meeting at the Mathematical Institute Henri Poincare, Paris, in June 2005 and is based on the outstanding state-of-the-art reports presented by the conference speakers. Ten chapters - based around five themes - provide a detailed overview of key topics, from the underlying concepts to the latest results, some of which are at the forefront of current research.

I would recommend this book to phylogenetists who wish to have an overview on the topics covered herein. Biometricians or statisticians curious about evolutionary problems may find some inspiration in these pages aswell. Biometrics


Introduction; List of Contributors; I EVOLUTION IN POPULATIONS; 1. Trees of genes in populations; 2. The evolutionary analysis of measurably evolving populations using serially sampled gene sequences; II MODELS OF SEQUENCE EVOLUTION; 3. Modelling the variability of evolutionary processes; 4. Phylogenetic invariants; III TREE SHAPE, SPECIATION AND EXTINCTION; 5. Some models of phylogenetic tree shape; 6. Phylogenetic diversity: from combinatorics to ecology; IV TREES FROM SUBTREES AND CHARACTERS; 7. Fragmentation of large data sets in phylogenetic analyses; 8. Identifying and defining trees; V FROM TREES TO NETWORKS; 9. Split networks and reticulate networks; 10. Hybridization networks; Index

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