Skip to main content

MA390 Content

Content: The module will consider ideas and techniques used in the three areas of biological research:

1. Evolutionary genetics and dynamics
2. Bioinformatics and statistics
3. Functional biology

Particular attention will be paid to the interfaces between these three areas. For instance, the merging of (1) and (2) into the more general discipline of quantitative genomics, and the synergy of (2) and (3) forms the basis of what in recent years has become known as Systems Biology.

Aims: To introduce ideas and techniques of mathematical modelling in biology.

Objectives: To gain an insight into evolutionary dynamics, genomics (e.g. sequence and QTL analyses), and models of biological systems; to consolidate basic mathematical techniques used in these approaches, such as ODEs, DEs, Markov Chains, and Optimal Control.

Books: The core text for this module is:
Evolutionary Dynamics: The Mathematics of Genes and Traits Institute of Physics.
In addition, the following are highly recommended:
Maynard-Smith, Evolutionary Genetics, OUP.
Bell, Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution, OUP.
Rice, Evolutionary Theory: Mathematical and Conceptual Foundations, Sinauer.