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Bioinformatics for Evolutionary Biologists

A Problems Approach

  • Textbook
  • © 2017


  • Covers fundamental aspects of sequence analysis in evolutionary biology, such as sequence alignment, phylogeny reconstruction, and coalescent simulation
  • Covers the material exclusively through 400 computer problems to enable learning by doing
  • Offers solutions to all problems to encourage self-study at a pace determined by the student
  • Contains over 30 programs written specifically for this book, which are provided as source code for further study
  • Ensures long-term usability of the course material by concentrating on fundamental concepts and utilizing the UNIX command line
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

This self-contained textbook covers fundamental aspects of sequence analysis in evolutionary biology, including sequence alignment, phylogeny reconstruction, and coalescent simulation. It addresses these aspects through a series of over 400 computer problems, ranging from elementary to research level, to enable learning by doing. Students solve the problems in the same computational environment used for decades in science – the UNIX command line. This is available on all three major operating systems for PCs: Microsoft Windows, Mac-OSX, and Linux. To learn using this powerful system, students analyze sample sequence data by applying generic tools, bioinformatics software, and over 40 programs specifically written for this course. The solutions for all problems are included, making the book ideal for self-study. Problems are grouped into sections headed by an introduction and a list of new concepts and programs. By using practical computing to explore evolutionary concepts and sequence data, the book enables readers to tackle their own computational problems.

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


“The book includes more than 40 programs specifically designed for the course. Code is provided for three major operating systems (Unix/Linux, Windows, Mac OS), which omits any possible technological barriers the students may have. That fact along with 400 problems of different levels--from elementary to research--make it an invaluable textbook for evolutionary biology students studying bioinformatics.” (Stefka Tzanova, Computing Reviews, June, 2018)​

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany

    Bernhard Haubold

  • Plön, Germany

    Angelika Börsch-Haubold

About the authors

Bernhard Haubold studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, UK and completed his DPhil in Bacterial opulation Genetics at Oxford University, UK in 1998. After training as a Post-Doc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany he worked in the biotech industry before taking on a professorship in  Bioinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences, Weihenstephan, Germany in 2003. In 2008, he moved to his current post as a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany. He also teaches Bioinformatics at Lübeck University. Together with Thomas Wiehe he is the author of Introduction to Computational Biology, An Evolutionary Approach, which was published by Birkhäuser in 2006.

Angelika Börsch-Haubold studied Pharmacy at Freiburg University, Germany and Pharmacology at Cambridge University, UK. She completed her DPhil in Pharmacology at Oxford University, UK in 1997, prior to remaining at Oxford for a junior research fellowship. From 2005 to 2008, she taught various courses at the University of Applied Sciences, Weihenstephan, Germany. From 2008 to 2014 she worked as a researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, Germany. She has contributed teaching material to Science in School and was involved in translating the fifth edition of The Molecular Biology of the Cell into German.

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