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NIMBioS Tuesday Seminar Series

Species montage. In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 206 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us. The schedule will be supplemented as additional speakers are added.

Video Archive of NIMBioS Seminars
Archived Seminar Calendars:   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009

Date Speaker Topic
  January 2018
Jan 23
Tuesday
Nicholas Panchy, NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Video icon. Modeling gene expression and regulation in response to light-dark signaling
  February 2018
Feb 14
Wednesday
Alex Bentley, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) NIMBioS/DySoC Seminar: The acceleration of cultural evolution
  March 2018
Mar 19
Monday
Brandon Prins, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) NIMBioS/DySoC Seminar: Pirate lands: Governance and maritime piracy
  April 2018
Apr 10
Tuesday
Patrick Shipman, Mathematics, Colorado State Univ. Topic: TBA
Apr 16
Monday
Garriy Shteynberg, Psychology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) NIMBioS/DySoC Seminar: TBA

*NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows Invited Distinguished Visitor

Seminar Abstracts


B. Prins photo. Time/Date: 3:30 Monday, March 19
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Brandon Prins, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)
Topic: Pirate lands: Governance and maritime piracy
Abstract: With piracy in the Greater Gulf of Aden seemingly eradicated, some analysts suggest that attacks against shipping no longer remain a salient global security concern. But recent increases off the coast of Nigeria and around the Straits of Malacca confirm that the threat has not been entirely eliminated. While structural (country-level) indicators of poverty and institutional fragility correlate with piracy, local conditions on land proximate to anchorages and shipping lanes where incidents occur will likely provide additional leverage in explaining where pirates locate and why piracy endures. Existing research also suggests piracy may be connected to armed insurgency. As rebels seek resources to help fund their anti-state or separatist campaigns, piracy, like gemstones, oil, and narcotics, may serve as a means to pay fighters and purchase weapons. Spatially and temporally disaggregated analyses as well as the synthesis of research on civil war and maritime piracy will open up new lines of inquiry into the relationship between lootable resources and armed conflict. Click here for more information.

A. Bentley photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 14
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Alex Bentley, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)
Topic: The acceleration of cultural evolution
Abstract: For millennia, sociocultural complexity increased (and occasionally decreased) gradually over many human generations, as people inherited traditional knowledge within kin-based local communities. In these settings, where knowledge was shared within populations and across generations, selection was probably the key driver in norms of human adaptive behavior. In the 21st century, however, knowledge is transmitted across populations and within generations—and evolutionary patterns may resemble random drift more than selection in increasingly many settings. To span these different scales and modes of cultural evolution, different representations are useful, including fitness landscapes and a heuristic representing the transparency of payoffs in social learning. I will use these approaches to discuss how cultural evolution may have profoundly changed—from adaptive selection towards drift—from the ancient past to present-day. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).

N. Panchy photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 23
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Nicholas Panchy, NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellow
Topic: Modeling gene expression and regulation in response to light-dark signaling
Abstract: Although gene expression has been profiled in more than three thousand different species, the analysis of these data remains challenging in part because multiple signals effect gene regulation. In particular, endogenous (circadian) and exogenous (e.g., light-dark) cycles are prominent in biological systems, especially those that undergo photosynthesis. Using expression data from the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, I found that half of the annotated genes in this algae are expressed cyclically in response to light-dark variation by using two different approaches to model cyclic expression. Among these light-dark genes, the timing of peak expression (phase) is both correlated with annotated gene function and evolutionarily constrained between duplicate pairs, indicating that this cyclic behavior is biologically significant. However, while I was able to identify cis-regulatory elements that were associated with different phases of light-dark expression, these cis-elements proved to be poor predictors of cyclic expression phase on their own, raising questions about the complexity of gene networks regulating the timing of expression. It was these questions that ultimately led to my current work studying the timing of events in cell differentiation and regulation of ribosomes by cyclic signals. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).


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NSF logo. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
 
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