Computational Challenges to Reconstructing Evolution with Large Datasets
TimeWednesday, 20 November 20191:30pm - 2:15pm
DescriptionRecent advances in data generation technologies have provided the biological sciences with enormous resources for both DNA sequences and morphological measurements. These data have created entirely new fields and have facilitated our ability to address classic questions in biology that had previously been data-limited. However, despite these advances, new challenges have also emerged. For example, while biologists previously thought that simply increasing the available data would result in more accurate results, most new analyses have uncovered extensive underlying heterogeneity that result from biological processes. Computational challenges have also limited our ability to take full advantage of the new resources. Both the size of the datasets and the underlying complexity have dramatically hindered optimization and inference. I will describe several of the computational challenges facing evolutionary biology along with several solutions. I will also describe some of the limits to our ability to reconstruct the phylogenetic past, despite our enormous efforts.