Launch of Centre of Computational Evolution

27 April 2016

CCE mini-symposium speakers
L to R: Prof Mike Steel (University of Canterbury), Prof Allen Rodrigo (ANU), Prof Alexei Drummond, Prof Nigel French (Massey University), Prof David Bryant (University of Otago) and Assoc Prof Quentin Atkinson spoke at the CCE launch mini-symposium.

The Centre for Computational Evolution (CCE) was officially launched on 21 April 2016. Eminent researchers in the field across New Zealand and Australia presented at a mini-symposium attended by nearly 60 researchers. This was followed by an official launch reception at Old Government House.

Prof John Hosking, Dean of Science, officiated the event. "The development of CCE recognises the considerable successes to date of its members in terms of research quality and impact. It is an example of a strategy the Faculty and University has of investing in such successes to allow them to grow into something even more substantial”, he says. “In that respect it is a vote of confidence in the strategic importance of the Centre. The Centre will also acts as a point of engagement for those external to the University interested in its areas of research and a gathering point for those within the University who wish to align themselves with its activities.”

John Hosking CCE launch 2
Prof John Hosking speaking at the CCE launch reception

The Centre’s researchers are a diverse group of statisticians, mathematicians, biologists, psychologists and computer scientists, all speaking the common language of evolution.

CCE researcher Assoc Prof Quentin Atkinson, says “Few people appreciate that Darwin’s theory of evolution isn’t only about the origins of species. Computer models of evolution are providing powerful insights into phenomena as diverse as virus epidemics, cancer, food safety, and the spread of new technologies and ideologies." 

The research by The Centre’s principal investigators is highly recognised with research frequently published in Nature, Science and PNAS, and account for 7% of all University of Auckland researcher citations. Prof Drummond and Assoc Prof Atkinson are Royal Society Rutherford Fellows and the Centre researchers hold 4 current Marsden grants.

CCE Science Committee
Centre for Computational Science Committee. L to R: Prof Alexei Drummond, Dr Simone Linz, Dr Anna Santure, Dr David Welch, Assoc Prof Quentin Atkinson

The Centre for Computational Evolution is funded by the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund.