Baumdicker Lab

Next-generation sequencing has dramatically changed our view of evolution and ecology, in particular for prokaryotes. Today we are able to see low-frequency variations in genomic data, sequence the genomes of thousands of individuals, even at the level of a single cell, and track the occurrence of mutations and genes over time in experimental evolution. The Baumdicker lab combines mathematical population genetics theory, computational biology, and machine learning approaches to understand how the observed diversity of microbes emerged and how bacterial populations cooperate to adapt to their environment. Focus is on (i) understanding how the transfer of genetic material and the evolutionary dynamics of gene gain and loss influence the composition of bacterial pan-genomes; (ii) explaining the maintenance and spread of CRISPR-Cas systems in prokaryotic populations; (iii) improving the estimation and classification of bacterial genome evolution and human population history.


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Dr. Franz Baumdicker

is since September 2020 head of the Junior Research Group “Mathematical and Computational Population Genetics,” which is affiliated with two of Tübingen's Clusters of Excellence,  "Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections" and "Machine Learning".
His group works at the interface between these two worlds and combines mathematical population genetics, computational biology, and machine learning to understand how the observed diversity of microbes emerged. After doing his doctorate in mathematics in Freiburg, he did postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen and Princeton University in microbial population genetics. Before coming to Tübingen, Franz Baumdicker started to investigate the population dynamics and phylogeny of CRISPR systems in prokaryotic populations within a DFG-funded project, which continues now in Tübingen.