Probability and Biological Evolution
June 15 -19, 2015
The overarching goal of this conference is to reflect the current methodological and conceptual advances in the study of stochastic processes used in modeling for ecology, population genetics and evolution. This is intended to stimulate the development of cutting-edge stochastic models that will promote a better understanding of evolutionary processes at various scales, ranging from genes to populations, communities and ecosystems. The main mathematical problems to be addressed can be described by the interrelated topics:

– Large-scale behavior and rare events in population dynamics
– Trees, coalescents and historical processes
– Generalized branching processes
– Spatial models in ecology and population genetics
– Random networks in epidemiology.

The conference shall favor the understanding of several important biological phenomena in fields such as epidemiology, ecology, population genetics and phylogenetics, especially large scale phenomena such as long-range colonizations, macro-evolution of life-history traits, species trees, and epidemics of emerging diseases. The study of such phenomena raises a number of deep questions which involve complex mathematical structures and require the introduction of new models and techniques in probability theory. A major aim of the conference is thus to highlight the study of advanced mathematical tools while bearing in mind the underlying biological reality and the potential applications in life sciences.

The interactions of genetics and ecology are of fundamental importance and still deserve more attention on the timescales of population genetics. The dependence of the individual fitness in reproduction upon the state of the entire population, and the interactions with (local and global) environmental conditions are crucial modeling ingredients. Additional topics which will be addressed in the conference, and which belong to biological evolution in a wider sense, are tumor growth models and probabilistic models from mathematical epidemiology that rely on tools from population dynamics and random graphs, and also relate to the population genetics of viruses.

Scientific Committee

Matthias Birkner (Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz)
Alison Etheridge (University of Oxford)
Steve Evans (University of Berkeley)
Amaury Lambert (UPMC Paris 6)
Sylvie Méléard (Ecole polytechnique)
John Wakeley (Harvard University )

Organizing Committee

Etienne Pardoux (Aix-Marseille Université)
Anton Wakolbinger (Goethe University of Frankfurt)


  • Tibor Antal (Edinburgh University)

Multitype Branching Processes: from Bacteria to Cancer

  • Ellen Baake (University of Bielefeld)

Ancestral Selection Graph Meets Lookdown Construction

  • Vincent Bansaye (Ecole polytechnique)

Coming Down from Infinity for Some Population Models

  • Nick Barton (IST Austria) & Alison Etheridge (Oxford University) 

Extending the Infinitesimal Model

  • Franz Baumdicker (University of Freiburg)  

The Site Frequency Spectrum of Dispensable Gene Sequences

  • Julien Berestycki (University of Oxford)

Branching Processes with Competition by Pruning of Levy Trees

  • Matthias Birkner (University of Mainz)  

Random Walks in Dynamic Random Environments and Ancestry under Local Population Regulation.

  • Jochen Blath (TU Berlin)

Genetic Variability Under the Seed Bank Coalescent

  • Anton Bovier (University of Bonn)  

Limits in Adaptive Dynamics

  • Éric Brunet (UPMC Paris 6 & ENS-Paris )

Existence of Open Evolutionary Paths in a Rugged Landscape

  • Nicolas Champagnat (Inria Nancy – Grand Est)

The Limit of Small Mutations in a Stochastic Individual-based Model and the Canonical Equation of Adaptive Dynamics

  • Loren Coquille (University of Bonn) 

A Stochastic Individual-based Model for Immunotherapy of Cancer

  • Michael Desai (Harvard University)  

Genetic Diversity in the Interference Selection Limit

  • Steven Evans (UC Berkeley) 

Recovering a Tree from Randomly Sampled Phylogenetic Diversities

  • Adrian Gonzalez Casanova (TU-Berlin) & Linglong Yuan (Uppsala University )

An Individual-based Model for Lenski’s Long-term Evolution Experiment

  • Paul Jenkins (University of Warwick) 

New Evolutionary Models for the Long Range Dependencies of Loosely Linked Loci

  • Stephen Krone (University of Idaho) 

Directed Evolution of Phage Lysins: Using Mathematical Models to Explore Feasibility/Design of New Antibacterial Drugs

  • Joachim Krug (University of Cologne)  

Adaptive Walks on Correlated Fitness Landscapes

  • Denise Kuehnert (ETH Zürich)  

Phylodynamic Analysis of Rapidly Evolving Pathogens

  • Tom Kurtz (University of Wisconsin Madison)  

Do It Yourself Lookdown Constructions:  It is Safe to Build Them at Home.

  • Michael Laessig (University of Cologne)

Adaptive Evolution of Molecular Quantitative Traits

  • Amaury Lambert (UPMC Paris 6)

A Non Exchangeable Coalescent Arising in Phylogenetics

  • Sylvie Méléard (Ecole polytechnique)

Competitive Populations With Vertical and Horizontal Transmissions

  • Richard Neher (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology Tübingen)

Quantifying and Predicting the Evolution of RNA Viruses

  • Todd Parsons (UPMC Paris 6)

Escaping from the Boundary in Density Dependent Population Processes

  • Hermann-Helmut Pitters (University of Oxford)

The Hydrodynamic Limit for Beta Coalescents that Come Down from Infinity

  • Emmanuel Schertzer (UPMC Paris 6)

Genealogy of a Branching Process with Overlapping Generations

  • Aurelien Tellier (TU Munich)

Plant Ecology Influences Population Genetics: the Role of Seed Banks in Structuring Genetic Diversity

  • Amandine Véber (Ecole polytechnique)

Genealogies with Recombination in Spatial Population Genetics