Sara Mathieson received her PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in May 2015, with a designated emphasis in Computational and Genomic Biology. Her undergraduate degree is in Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT. Using hidden Markov models, she has developed methods to estimate the past population sizes of humans from genomic data. Her current work focuses on machine learning techniques to separate the effects of population size changes and natural selection. Detecting population size changes is extremely important for conservation biology, and in the future she plans on focusing more on applying population genetic methods to non-model organisms. Such datasets always pose challenges, which usually end up strengthening a method and making it easier for other people to use. She is currently applying diCal to polar bear data to investigate whether there has been a recent reduction in population size, due to climate change. Sara is also interested in answering similar questions for other species such as fruit flies and bees.
Office: Ford Hall 355