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Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences
Inselstr. 22-26, 04103 Leipzig.

*external research associate at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science of Ideas, Tel Aviv University

Formerly postdoc at the CPNSS, London School of Economics (LSE) & PhD at Tel Aviv University

omrit1248@gmail.com /  Omri.Tal@mis.mpg.de

I take a quantitative approach in the interpretation of core biological concepts. By using formal tools from statistical learning and information theory with conceptual analysis, I develop new frameworks that may enable a deeper understanding and application of technical notions. I have written on concepts from behaviour genetics, population genetics, evolutionary psychology and quantitative genetics, with particular emphasis on the analysis of heritability, population structure, genetic information and epigenetic transmissibility. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute MIS, Leipzig. I believe that an interdisciplinary approach can greatly benefit both mathematical biology and philosophy of biology. My current focus concerns the broad theme of biological information and in particular, understanding genetic structure from an information-theoretic and statistical learning perspective. I am mostly occupied with applying ideas, theorems and formalism from the field of information theory to biology at large with special focus on population genetics.

Recent Publications: 

Tal O, Tran-Tat D., Portegies J. (2017) From Typical Sequences to Typical Genotypes. Journal of Theoretical Biology 419:159–183. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.02.010

Granot G, Tal O, Rosset S, Skorecki K (2016) On the Apportionment of Population Structure. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160413. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160413

Tal O, 2013. Two Complementary Perspectives on Inter-Individual Genetic Distance. BioSystems. Volume 111, Issue 1, Pages 18–36

Tal O, 2012. Towards an Information-Theoretic Approach to Population Structure. Proceedings of Turing-100: The Alan Turing Centenary. p353-369

Tal O, 2012. The Cumulative Effect of Genetic Markers on Classification Performance: Insights from Simple Models. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Volume 293, 21 January, Pages 206-218.

Tal O, 2012. The impact of Gene-Environment Interaction and Correlation on the Interpretation of Heritability. Acta Biotheoretica. Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 225-237.

Tal O, Kisdi E, Jablonka E, 2010. Epigenetic contribution to covariance between relatives. Genetics 184: 1037-1050

Tal, O, 2009. From heritability to probability. Biol. Philos. 24: 81–105

Work in Progress:

-- Tal O. An axiomatic approach to informativeness for assignment

-- Tal O. On the value of genetic vs. phenotypic inferences

Awards and Fellowships:

The Rothschild Foundation Fellowship 2012-2013

Academic Services:

Reviewer for: Biology and Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS)

Talks at Conferences & Presentations:

Academic Phylogeny:

  • Bsc Mathematics and Computer Science, Tel Aviv University.
  • MA Philosophy of Science, Tel Aviv University, Summa cum laude.
  • PhD Awarded December 2012: Tel Aviv University
    Location on Shelf: Sourasky Central Library
    Author: Tal, Omri
    Title: Heritability, variation and classification : towards a new formalization of biological concepts; [under the supervision of Eva Jablonka and Ariel Knafo]
    Published: [Tel-Aviv] : [s.n.], 2012
    System Number: 002394835
  • 2012-2013 Postdoc at the CPNSS, LSE, London.