Old Projects

The following section contains old project proposals. These are typically proposals that have already been the basis of one or more student projects. The questions involved do evidently interest us, so if you believe you have a new angle on the proposal please feel free to contact us to discuss the possibility of doing it as a project.

Modelling Evolution, Genome annotation and Comparative Biology
A Stochastic Model of Gene Duplication and Loss (March 15) 
Statistical Model for the Evolution of Directions (March 15) 
The Origin of Life and Toy Chemistries (Jotun Hein) (Dec 14)
Understanding the evolution of assembly specificity in protein oligomers (March 15) 
Molecular Evolution of Primate Retroelements (Aris Katzourakis and Jotun Hein) (Dec 14)
Investigating the Miklos-Lunter-Holmes (2004) Model of Insertion-deletion (Jotun Hein) (Dec 14)
Markov Random Fields on Biological Networks (Jotun Hein and George Deligiannidis) (Dec 14)
Metrics on RNA Secondary Structure Ensembles (Jotun Hein) (Dec 14)
Algorithms for finding Autocatalytic Systems Summary (June 10)
Virus evolution simulation Summary (June 10)
Measurement of Selection on RNA molecules Summary (June 10)
Modelling the dynamics and evolution of nitrogen assimilation in plant pathogenic Pseudomonas Collaboration with Gail Preston Summary (June 10)
Modelling evolution of protein secondary structure topologies Summary (June 10)
Evolutionary Pattern Formation Summary (June10) 
Evolving Dynamical Systems – case study: Cell Cycle Collaboration with Bela Novak Summary (Feb 10)
Evolutionary Models for Complex Signals Summary (Feb 10)
Evolutionary Models for Combined Regulation-Metabolism Graphs Collaboration with Gail Preston Summary (Dec 09) 
RNA, Stochastic Context Free Grammars and Classifiers Summary (June 09)
Comparative Annotation of Metabolic Pathways Summary (April 09)
Analysing Multiple Functionalities in Proteins Summary (March 09)
Local Pairwise Statistical Alignment  Summary (Oct 08)
Fine Scale Regulatory Annotation of a Gene Summary (May 08)
A Unified Approach to Signal Detection Summary (May 08)
MCMC Integration over Evolutionary Histories of Metabolic Networks Collaboration with Tom Snijders Summary (May 08)
Evolving Language Grammars: “Evolving English” Collaboration with Stephen Clark Summary (Jan 07)
Evolving Biological Grammars Summary (June 07)
Evolutionary Docking of Proteins Summary (May 07)
Stochastic Models Combining Alignment and Annotation Summary (Oct 07)
Parallelising pairwise-statistical alignment Summary (Feb 06)
Fitting Genome Models To Known Virus Structures Summary (June 07)
Evolutionary Analysis of Molecular Movements Collaboration with Thomas Darden Mark Sansom Summary (Jan 07)
Choice of parameter set for use with a mathematical model of mechanical force generation in the heart Summary (Feb 06)
Extending the Domain of Comparative Genomics Collaboration with Kay Davies Summary

Population Genetics, Mapping and Genealogical Structures






The following project proposals are all motivated by the wide use of population variation data.  The major genealogical structures are phylogenies, pedigrees and ancestral graphs (ARG).  A central use of variation data is mapping - making statements about the positions in the genome that is causal for individual phenotypes, such as disease.  New sequencing techniques create new opportunities for research, such as pedigree and somatic tree inference but also changes the nature of more traditional problems, such as phylogeny, alignment and recombination analysis, due to the large quantity of data.

Genetic and Genealogical Ancestors (April 2011)
Mapping and Arabidopsis Collaboration with Richard Mott Summary July 10)
Networks and Association mapping Summary Collaboration with Andrey Rzhetsky (Sep 08)
A Gibbs Sampler of the ancestral recombination graph Summary (July 08)
From exact marginals to good importance sampling  Summary (June 08)
Statistical Alignment via k-Restricted Steiner Trees Summary (May 08)
“Corner Cutting” approaches to the Ethier-Griffiths-Tavare Recursions Summary (March 08)
Workbench for Ancestral Recombination Graph Summation Summary (March 08)
Population Pedigree Inference from Genomic Data Collaboration with Steffen Lauritzen Summary (Jan 08)
Counting Ancestral Recombination Graph (ARG) Topologies Summary (June 07) 
Counting Pedigrees up to Isomorphism Summary (June 07)
Somatic Cell Genealogies and Differentiation Collaboration with Kevin Talbot Summary (May 07)
User Interface for Recombination Analysis Summary (Dec 05)

Systems Biology

These projects are all motivated by the present rise of systems biology.  Systems biology poses many questions, both in terms of modelling on a large scale, how feasible it is to infer biological systems and the use of concepts in this field.  Networks are central to many systems biology models and the role of evolution also needs to be explored.
Difficult Concepts in Systems Biology III: Function and Purpose Summary (Jan 09)
Difficult Concepts in Systems Biology II: Levels and Reduction Summary (Oct 08)
Identifiability of a Simple Biological System Summary (Jan 08)
Difficult Concepts in Systems Biology: Emergence Collaboration with Carsten Wiuf Summary (Jan 08)
Parameter and Sensitivity Analysis for Large System of ODEs Collaboration with Dagmar Iber Summary (Nov 07)

Algorithmic, Probabilistic and Modelling Challenges

Computational Biology leads to a series of technical problems that could be undertaken by someone with a more pure interest in combinatorics, statistics, mathematics, algorithms, modeling or software development.  Some of these might have biological terms in them, but the biological component is minimal (or could be minimized).
Error Correcting Codes, Lumpability and Sequence Evolution (Jan 12)
Incorporating RNA secondary structure prediction into StatAlign (Jan 12)
Kinetic and Co-Transcriptional Folding of RNA (Jan 12)
Dealing with Large, Sparse Continuous Time Markov Chains (Dec 11)
RNA Grammar Search Sum (July 10)
Combining Stochastic Grammars Summary (June 10)
Efficient sampling of ancestral states in the infinite site model Summary (July 09)
Multiple Alignment Using Guide Networks Summary (Nov 08)
A Constraint Optimization Problem in Phylogenetics Collaboration with Raphael Hauser Summary (Dec 08)
Combinatorics of Biological Networks Collaboration with Alex Scott Summary (Oct 08)
Automatic Code Generation for Probabilistic Inference in Computational Biology Collaboration with Oege de Moor Summary (Oct 08)
Gaussian Processes and Gene Regulation Summary (June 08)
Combinatorics Problems in Genome Rearrangement Summary (March 08)
Temporal Multiple Statistical Alignment Collaboration with Gerton Lunter Summary (June 07)
Artifacts from Combining Hidden Markov Models Summary (March 07)
Path Sampling in Continuous Time Markov Chains
Stochastic Turing Patterns Summary (April 06)
Pseudoknots in RNA secondary structure Summary
How many transcripts does it take to reconstruct the Splice Graph? Summary (05)
Parallelisation of Recombination Analysis Summary (Feb 06)
Combining RNA energy minimisation with microscopy information Summary (04)

Collaborative Data Analysis
Testing the Biogeographical Hypotheses Collaboration with Finn Borchsenius & Anders Barfod
Molecular Evolution of Selected Families of Human Endogenous Retroviruses Collaboration with Palle Villesen & Hugo Martins
Phylogenomic Analysis of Algae  Collaboration with Tom Cavalier-Smith Summary
Recombination analysis in Arabidopsis Thaliana (Dec 11)
Stochastic Models of Leaf Shape Evolutiion Collaboration with Nick Jones and Miltos Tsiantis Summary (Feb 11)
Footprinting with additional knowledge Collaboration with Richard Mott Summary (Feb 10)
Fine Scale Regulatory Annotation of Cancer Genes Collaboration with Thorunn Rafnar Summary (Aug 09)
Analysis of single-molecule FRET trajectories of transcription complexes based on Hidden-Markov Modelling Collaboration with Achilles Kapanides Summary (Jan 09)
Reconstruction of an Ancestral Protein: Sequence, Function, Motion and Structure  Collaboration with Lee Pedersen and Mark Sansom Summary (Dec 08)
Cataloguing sequences homologous to the Rhodobacter flagellar motorCollaboration with Judith Armitage Summary (Feb 08)
Computational Promoter Analysis of non-Coding RNAs Collaboration with Kay Davies Summary (July 07)
Computational Promoter Analysis of Metazoan α-Globins Collaboration with Doug Higgs Summary (June 07)
Annotate 12 Drosophila genomes for regulatory signals Collaboration with Lior Pachter & Vasile Palade Summary (June 07)
Phylogenetic Analysis of “New” Homeobox in the Lineage Leading to Humans Collaboration with Peter Holland Summary (Feb 07)
Structural Analysis of Aptamers Collaboration with William James Summary (Dec 05)

RNA Structure and Evolution Modelling
Evaluation of SCFGs Summary (May 11)
Evolution Grammar Search Summary (April 11)
Practical Implications of Grammar Ambiguity on RNA Secondary Structure Prediction Summary (April 11)
Boltzmann Weighted Combinatorics of RNA Secondary Structures Summary

Computational Origin of Life Models 
Mass Action Equations for Autocatalytic Systems (April 11)
Autocatalytic Sets of RNAs Collaboration with Wim Hordijk & Mike Steel Summary (April 11)
Proposal for the Development of a Software Package for Simulating and Studying Catalytic Reaction Systems and Autocatalytic Sets Summary

High School Projects
RNA Secondary Structure  (Algorithms) Summary (July 10)
Pairwise Alignment (Algorithms) Summary (June 08)
Sequence Evolution (Probability Theory) Summary (June 08)
Signals in Single Genomes (Computer Science) Summary (July 09)
Counting in Phylogenetics (Combinatorics) Summary (July 07)