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Jun 08, 2023

Seminar (2023-06-08)

School of Biomedical Sciences is pleased to invite you to join the following seminar:

Date: 8 June 2023 (Thursday)
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, G/F, William MW Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road

Speaker: Professor Lars Jermiin, Assistant Professor in Bioinformatics, University College Dublin; Honorary Professor, Research School of Biology, Australian National University
Talk Title: A new phylogenetic protocol: dealing with model misspecification and confirmation bias



Lars Jermiin graduated from Aarhus University, with an MSc in Population Genetics (1989), and from La Trobe University, with a PhD in Molecular Evolution (1994). Following six years as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (La Trobe University, University of Ottawa, and the Australian National University) and Research Fellow (the Australian National University, and University of Sydney), he became Lecturer (2001), Senior Lecturer (2004) and Associate Professor (2008) at University of Sydney. During that time, he co-founded and later led the Sydney University Biological and Informatics Centre (2002-2007). In 2009, he became Science Leader at CSIRO’s Division of Entomology, where he led the development of Genome Bioinformatics capability and published some of his most influential research papers. In 2017, he moved to Ireland, where he is now Assistant Professor in Bioinformatics at University College Dublin and Data Stewardship Manager of ELIXIR – Ireland. Since 2016, he has been Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.

Molecular phylogenetics plays a key role in comparative genomics and has an increasingly significant impact on science, industry, government, public health and society. Here I posit that the current phylogenetic protocol is missing two critical steps, and that their absence allows model misspecification and confirmation bias to unduly influence our phylogenetic estimates. Based on the potential offered by well-established but under-used procedures, such as assessment of phylogenetic assumptions and tests of goodness of fit, I introduce a new phylogenetic protocol that will reduce confirmation bias and increase the accuracy of phylogenetic estimates. In addition, I will outline several methods that I have developed to support the new phylogenetic protocol.


Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Miss Angela Wong at 3917 9216.