Mathematical and Computational Population Genetics

Since September 2020, Dr. Franz Baumdicker is head of the Independent Research Group 'Mathematical and Computational Population Genetics', which is affiliated with two of Tübingen's Clusters of Excellence,  'Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections' and our Cluster "Machine Learning".

Research Interests

Our research focuses on mathematical models describing the evolution and ecology of microbial genes and genomes. In population genetics, many theoretical results have been developed in times where not much genomic and genetic data were available. These theory-driven results are still essential for our research, but data-driven discoveries have meanwhile dramatically changed our view of evolution and ecology, in particular for prokaryotes. Today we can observe low frequency variations in genomic data and sequence the genomes of thousands of individuals, even at the single cell level.
We work at the interface between these two worlds and combine the areas of mathematical population genetics, computational biology, and machine learning. We aim to understand how the observed diversity of microbes emerged. The vast amount of newly sequenced genetic data leads to a multitude of interesting applications in the emerging field of machine learning in population genetics. The main challenge is that sequence data are not independent of one another, but rather are linked by their phylogenetic relationship. Our goal is to develop, analyze, and apply supervised machine learning tools that can use this phylogenetic relationship to improve our understanding of bacterial genome evolution and human population history.

Further Information

For further information visit Franz Baumdicker's Lab Website or his Twitter channel


Before coming to Tübingen, Franz Baumdicker researched the population dynamics and phylogeny of CRISPR systems in prokaryotic populations within the DFG-funded priority program "Much more than defense: the multiple functions and facets of CRISPR-Cas". Prior to that, he was at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, where he worked with Corina Tarnita on mathematical models for cooperation in bacterial populations. At the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Franz worked as a visiting scientist with Richard Neher to develop analysis and visualization tools for genome data. Franz wrote his dissertation in the Department of Mathematical Stochastics at the University of Freiburg with Peter Pfaffelhuber in which he examined stochastic processes and graphs that describe the gain, loss and transfer of bacterial genes.


Dr. Franz Baumdicker
Mathematical and Computational Population Genetics

University Tübingen
Cluster of Excellence 'Machine Learning'
and Cluster of Excellence 'Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections '

Sand 14
72076 Tübingen