A phylodynamic trip through the tree of life: From Ebola over Tuberculosis to Penguins and Murine stem cells

Genetic sequencing data contain a fingerprint of past evolutionary and population dynamic processes. Phylogenetic methods infer evolutionary relationships — the phylogenetic tree — between individuals based on their genetic sequences. Phylodynamics aims to understand the population dynamic processes — such as epidemiological, macroevolutionary or developmental processes — giving rise to the phylogenetic tree. I will present the mathematical and computational aspects of our recently developed phylodynamic tools. Then I will focus on epidemiological applications, shedding light on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the spread of drug resistant Tuberculosis. Second, I will discuss a macroevolutionary study on the radiation of penguins. Last, I will explain how we recently adopted phylodynamic tools to study stem cell biology.