Biomathematics and Theoretical Bioinformatics Group

Our group Biomathematics and Theoretical Bioinformatics, led by Prof. Dr. Ellen Baake, establishes a bridge between mathematics and bioinformatics. Our main area of research is the mathematical theory of biological evolution, in particular mathematical population genetics. We seek to understand the dynamics of genes in populations under the joint influence of mutation, selection, recombination, and genetic drift. Special emphasis is on ancestral processes, which trace back the history of individuals in a present population. The tools we use come from probability theory (interactive particle systems, duality, branching processes, large deviations) as well as from the theory of dynamical systems (difference and differential equations, theory of bifurcations).

Ellen Baake coordinates the DFG Priority Programme 'Probabilistic Structures in Evolution' (SPP-1590), which is devoted to the in-depth theoretical study of stochastic processes in population genetics, stochastic models of adaptive dynamics, and probabilistic aspects of evolutionary game theory; it involves 25 PIs in 21 projects at 17 institutions. She also leads RCM², the Research Centre for Mathematical Modelling, an inter-departmental institution of Bielefeld University, which provides a common platform for applications of mathematics to the sciences. The activities include both research and training in mathematical modelling and in mathematical solution techniques. Furthermore, she is PI in CRC 1283 `Taming Uncertainty', with a project on `Ancestral lines in population models with interaction'. Last not least, she is PI in the German-Canadian DFG International Research Training Group 'Computational Methods for the Analysis of the Diversity and Dynamics of Genomes' (IRTG-1906) of Bielefeld University and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), which trains young academics to develop methods for the practical analysis of genome diversity and dynamics.