from 10th June 2021 to 11th June 2021

Workshop in Mathematical and Computational Biology


Theme of the Workshop

The 1st Workshop in Mathematical and Computational Biology aims at bringing together the diverse communities of researchers working on topics of importance to biology by means of mathematical and computational methods.

This first edition of the workshop will concentrate on the fields of Biomechanics, Bioinformatics, Epidemiology & Ecology, and Morphology. The themes will rotate in the next editions of the workshop to cover multiple areas, but always keeping as central the computational and mathematical flavor of this first edition.


Registration is completely free. Please, use the link below to register not later than June 3rd, 2021.

If you have questions, please feel free to send an email to Prof. Alessandro Maria Selvitella (, Prof. Kathleen Lois Foster (, or Prof. Daisuke Kihara ( We look forward to seeing you!

Abstract Submission

If you would like to apply to present a Contributed Talk (20 min) or Poster + Short Talk (3 min), please submit your abstract HERE by no later than May 16th, 2021 (Previous: May 2nd, 2021). We have two tracks.

TRACK 1: Contributed Talk (20 min)

Abstracts for Contributed Talks should be a maximum of 500 words in length. Those not selected for a contributed talk will have the opportunity to be moved to Track 2.

TRACK 2: Poster + Short Talk (3 min)

Abstracts for Posters + Short Talks should be a maximum of 200 words in length. Those selected for a poster will need to submit their poster not later than June 3rd, 2021. See below.

If problems with the submission arise, please contact one of the organizers: Prof. Alessandro Maria Selvitella (, Prof. Kathleen Lois Foster (, or Prof. Daisuke Kihara (

Applicants will be notified of acceptance not later than May 20th, 2021 (Previous: May 9th, 2021).

Poster + Short Talk Submission

If you have been selected to present a Poster + Short Talk, please submit your pre-recorded video and poster HERE no later than June 3rd, 2021. Videos of Short Talks and PDFs of Posters will be uploaded to this website and will be available for the entire duration of the conference.

If problems with the submission arise, please contact one of the organizers: Prof. Alessandro Maria Selvitella (, Prof. Kathleen Lois Foster (, or Prof. Daisuke Kihara (

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: Extended: May 16th, 2021 @11:59pm EDT. Previous: May 2nd, 2021 @11:59pm EDT.

Notification: Now: May 20th, 2021 @11:59pm EDT. Previous: May 9th, 2021.

Poster+ Short Talk (3 min) Submission Deadline: June 3rd, 2021 @11:59pm EDT.

Registration Deadline: June 3rd, 2021 @11:59pm EDT.

Workshop: June 10th-11th, 2021.


Day 1 - Session 1: Bioinformatics

A brief description

Day 1 - Session 2: Biomechanics

A brief description

Day 2 - Session 1: Epidemiology

A brief description

Day 2 - Session 2: Morphology

A brief description

The goal of this event is to bring together researchers working on mathematical and computational methods in biology

Keynote Speakers

Majid Kazemian

Departments of Biochemistry and Computer Science

Purdue University

Dissecting Biological Pathways in COVID-19

In this talk, I will discuss how we have utilized existing bulk and single cell high throughput sequencing data to study various aspects of host-pathogen interactions in the context of COVID-19 including the biology and regulatory mechanism underlying the interaction. Moreover, I will discuss how this knowledge could be utilized for identifying treatment options.

Models and motion: Leveraging biomechanics to understand patterns of diversity

Physical principles and laws determine the set of possible organismal phenotypes. Constraints arising from development, the environment, and evolutionary history then yield workable, integrated phenotypes. Thus, combining mechanics and aspects of an organism’s ecology will yield a greater understanding of diversity. Specifically, the utilization of biomechanical models enables one to combine traditional functional traits to predict how an organism will function in its environment. I will highlight this approach using three examples. First, I will show that an ecomechanical model of drag-induced bending in trees provides a predictive framework for survival in changing environments. Second, I will show how physical models of animals can be used to understand ecological pressures and transitions. Finally, I will outline a model of adhesion and impact forces that enable us to examine the role of ecological variation performance. In order to fully integrate biomechanical models into studies of development, evolution, and ecology, a new data pipeline is needed. Specifically, online databases must be combined, and standard data collection methods need to be adopted.

Tim Higham

Department of Biology,

University of California,


David Earn

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

McMaster University

Infectious Disease Dynamics from the Black Death to COVID-19

Historical records allow us to reconstruct patterns of disease spread in the past, in some cases going back hundreds of years. Mathematical models can help us reveal the mechanisms that shaped these epidemics. I will discuss analyses that identify how demographic and behavioural processes changed the structure of recurrent epidemics of childhood infections, such as measles and whooping cough, in the 20th century. I will also describe recent work that illuminates epidemic patterns as far back as the Black Death in the 14th century, and how COVID-19 presents some of the same, and some very different, challenges.

What can and can't we do with geometric morphometrics today?

Over the past two decades, shape analysis has become central to studies of morphology. Now we can answer many long-standing questions about the impact of various factors on shape, identifying even subtle and complex effects. We can also extend the applications of shape analysis to studies that have relied upon non-metric data, such as the numbers of species within various ecological guilds within a community, to analyze the functional component of diversity biodiversity across regions. Unfortunately, some subjects, including those central to evolutionary biology, are still difficult to study because we still lack generally accepted methods for fitting any but the simplest and least plausible model. This talk will present an examples of each application: (1) an analysis of phenotypic plasticity of jaw shape, testing the hypotheses that dietary consistency affects jaw shape and covariance structure; (2) an analysis of the geographic structure of species richness and shape diversity, testing the hypothesis the range of shape increases and the nearest-neighbor distances decrease with species richness across for a classic model system in studies of community structure, heteromyid rodents, and (3) the difficulties that we have analyzing evolutionary dynamics, including tempo and model of shape evolution.

Miriam Zelditch

Museum of Paleontology

University of Michigan

Virtual Rooms

Slack Chat

Gather "Bio" Town

The virtual environments of the workshop will foster interactions among participants and will be the places to ask questions to speakers and connect with other attendees with common interests also outside the time of the talk. Walking around Gather "Bio" Town, you will find the Short Talks and Posters, and breakout tables where you can interact and share ideas.

Let us know if you'll be attending!