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Keynote talks in the ComBi symposium, 18 Dec 2009 at Turku Castle

Peter Jagers, Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg:
Persistence and Extinction
"There is no fact on Earth, as startling as the extermination of its
inhabitants", said Darwin. The ubiquity of population extinction has many causes,
coincidence not the least. I shall review the discussion about this during a century,
move on to show that that no bounded population can persist forever, and discuss
quasi-stationarity and extinction in the presence of competition, in terms of a simple
stochastic model of the adaptive dynamics of evolution.

David Balding, Professor of Statistical Genetics, University College London:
Statistical Issues for Genome-Wide Association Studies and Beyond
I will discuss statistical issues surrounding genome-wide association
studies that have recently had much success, in that many new variants have
been associated with disease and other traits.  On the other hand, these
studies have been unsuccessful in the sense that the effect sizes are very
small, and typically only explain a small amount of phenotypic variance.  I
will present some of the possible ways forward and the statistical problems
that accompany them, with a focus on rare variants, resequencing data,
population isolates and the role of kinship, and prediction of phenotype
from genome-wide marker data.