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.
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
The Rothschild Foundation Fellowship 2012-2013
Reviewer for: Biology and Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS)
- [Scheduled] April 4, 2017. ‘Typical genotypes’: Talk at MBE’17, Leicester UK (Modelling Biological Evolution 2017: Developing Novel Approaches).
- Jan 23, 2017: Invited talk at department colloquium,Haifa University, Department of Information and Knowledge Management.
- Jan 13, 2017: Invited talk in internal seminar,CCIMI, Cambridge University. A new perspective from Information Theory on genetic sequences.
- Jan 11, 2017:Invited talk at CS Information Theory Colloquium, University of Hertfordshire, UK.
- Dec 1st, 2016: A New Perspective from Information Theory on Genetic Data. Talk in internal seminar. The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel.
- July 2016: Invited talk at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, 'Workshop on Statistical Mechanics & Information in Evolution'', ‘Typical genotypes: utilizing a core information theoretic notion in population genetics'.
- On the Apportionment of Population Structure, Poster. ‘Founder Populations’ International Conference, July 2016, Haifa, Israel.
- From Typical Sets to Typical Genotypes. Philosophy of Biology in the UK. June 2016, Bristol. Conference talk.
- Genotypes as information-theoretic ‘typical sequences’. Third International Conference in Code Biology. May 2016, Urbino, Italy.
- Jan 2016: From Typical Sequences to Typical Genotypes. Max Planck (MIS) Leipzig, internal seminar talk.
- Sep 2015: On Genetic and Phenotypic Distances. Max Planck (MIS) Leipzig, internal seminar talk.
- Aug 2015: Presentation at 15th Congress on Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science (CLMPS), Helsinki. 'On the Concept of Genetic Distance: the perils of misinterpretation'.
- April 2015: Invited talk at the Second Rothschild Fellowship Alumni Colloquium, Jerusalem 28 April.
- Feb 13, 2015: invited talk at KLI, Vienna.
- June 24-26, 2014: Poster at ‘1000 Genomes Project and Beyond’. Cambridge University, UK.
- June 2014: Invited talk at ‘Causality, Information Transfer and Dynamical Networks’ conference workshop, Dresden, Germany.
- April 2014: Poster at The 42nd European Mathematical Genetics Meeting 2014.
- October 2013: Department talk, Max Planck MIS, Leipzig. ‘Quantifying Information on 'Population Structure'.
- July 2013: Talk at the 2013 ISSPSSB meeting in Montpellier: ‘Is Shannon's Information Theory Applicable to Genetic Data?’
- April 2013: Invited talk at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP).
- March 2013: Invited talk at the 5th Workshop on the Philosophy of Information, University of Hertfordshire.
- Feb 2013: Invited talk at Bristol University, 'From Shannon's Axiomatic Approach to a New Sense of Biological Information'.
- Feb 2013: Invited talk at Egenis, University of Exeter. 'Lewontin's Fallacy Revisited: Keep it simple, but not too simple'.
- Jan 2013: Talk at CPNSS, LSE: From Shannon's Axiomatic Approach to a New Sense of Biological Information.
- October 2012: Talk at CPNSS, LSE, London, on ‘Lewontin's Fallacy’.
- June 2012: Poster session presentation at the Turing-100 Conference, Manchester, UK, ‘Towards an Information-Theoretic Approach to Population Structure’.
- March 2012: Invited presentation at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. International Workshop - Explanatory Styles in the Life Sciences. “Explanatory Models: The Perils of Oversimplification.”
- January 2011: Invited presentation at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. Workgroup on ‘Race in the Era of the Genome’, “On Classification and Clustering”.
- October 2010: Invited Talk at Israel OU, Graduate Seminar for Biology and Philosophy,“Classification and Diversity: Controversies”.
- July 2009: Talk at ISHPSSB 2009 Brisbane, From Heritability to Probability – w/Epigenetic Extension.
- April 2009: Talk at ISHPS 2009: Israel Society for History & Philosophy of Science, “Heritability, Genetics & Environment”.
- June 2008: Talk at Biological Explanations of Behavior: Philosophical perspectives. Innateness and Heritability: “From Heritability to Probability”.
- 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.