#### Title of Abstract

Phylogenetic Study of Viruses

#### Poster Number

060

#### College

College of Arts and Sciences

#### Department

Department of Mathematics

#### Abstract

Phylogenetic trees are used to study evolutionary relationships among biological entities. Since phylogenetic trees are hypotheses for how organisms are related from an evolutionary viewpoint, there exist many algorithms for constructing a phylogenetic tree based on the acquired biological data. In this talk, we focus on the maximum likelihood algorithm. We’ll begin with a discussion on how phylogenetic trees aid in the study of viruses. We’ll then proceed by providing some mathematical background to better understand the maximum likelihood algorithm and an example of creating a phylogenetic tree for Enterovirus D68 using this algorithm. We’ll conclude with a discussion of potential strengths and weaknesses of the maximum likelihood algorithm, as well as a survey of other algorithms commonly used to construct phylogenetic trees.

#### Honors Thesis Committee

Kristen Abernathy, Ph.D.; Zach Abernathy; and Kristi Westover, Ph.D.

#### Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

#### End Date

April 2019

Phylogenetic Study of Viruses

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Phylogenetic trees are used to study evolutionary relationships among biological entities. Since phylogenetic trees are hypotheses for how organisms are related from an evolutionary viewpoint, there exist many algorithms for constructing a phylogenetic tree based on the acquired biological data. In this talk, we focus on the maximum likelihood algorithm. We’ll begin with a discussion on how phylogenetic trees aid in the study of viruses. We’ll then proceed by providing some mathematical background to better understand the maximum likelihood algorithm and an example of creating a phylogenetic tree for Enterovirus D68 using this algorithm. We’ll conclude with a discussion of potential strengths and weaknesses of the maximum likelihood algorithm, as well as a survey of other algorithms commonly used to construct phylogenetic trees.