In the Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin conceived a grand tree of life that unites species by evolutionary history. Uncovering the details of this evolutionary tree of life has been hugely accelerated in the last two decades by advances in DNA sequencing and computing.

All life on Earth, including our own species, continues to rapidly evolve and this process is relevant to modern concerns. Professor Alexei Drummond will show how computers can be used to reconstruct the history of our own species and how these methods are used to better understand and respond to rapidly-evolving human diseases such as HIV, influenza, Hepatitis C, Dengue, Ebola and Zika.


Over the last decade, Professor Alexei Drummond (Director for the Centre of Computational Evolution, University of Auckland) has led a team of students, postdocs, and colleagues in world-leading research that has transformed the way biologists use genetic data to study evolution. The team has developed software that has become the leading tool for investigating how viruses evolve, and for addressing leading questions about the origin of species.

His software is used daily all over the world, and is having a major impact in areas such as human health and disease epidemiology. For example, scientists and health workers used software Alexei pioneered to identify the origin of the Ebola virus in each country in 2014.


6:30 PM @Vodka Room | 5 Rose Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021

* No age restrictions if accompanied by legal guardian

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