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Research Assoc. (postdoc)
Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften
(Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences)

Inselstr. 22-26, 04103 Leipzig.

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

PhD awarded by the School of Philosophy and The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

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

I take a quantitative approach in the interpretation of central biological concepts. Using formal tools from probability, statistical learning and information theory, and conceptual analysis, I aim to produce novel formulations that may enable a deeper appreciation, and also assist in the application, of otherwise technical concepts. I am currently focused on understanding population structure from an information-theoretic perspective.

Recent Publications:

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, 2011. 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

Awards and Fellowships

The Rothschild Fellowship 2012-2013 (taken at the LSE)

Academic Services:

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

Talks at Conferences & Presentations:

June 2008: Biological Explanations of Behavior: Philosophical Perspectives - "From Heritability to Probability"

April 2009: Israel Society for History & Philosophy of Science - "Heritability, Genetics & Environment"

July 2009: ISHPSSB 2009 - "Heritability, Probability and Epigenetic Extension"

October 2010: "Revisiting Lewontin's Fallacy" - Presentation at the Open U, Tel Aviv.

January 2011: "Classification and Clustering" - Presentation at the Van Leer Inst., Jerusalem

March 2012: Invited presentation at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. International Workshop - Explanatory Styles in the Life Sciences. "Explanatory Models: The Perils of Oversimplification."

June 2012: Poster session presentation at the Turing-100 Conference, Manchester, UK - "Towards an Information-Theoretic Approach to Population Structure."

Oct 2012: Talk at CPNSS, LSE on "Lewontin's Fallacy"

Jan 2013: Talk at CPNSS, LSE: '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'

Feb 2013: Invited talk at Bristol University,  'From Shannon's Axiomatic Approach to a New Sense of Biological Information'

March 2013: Invited talk at the 5th Workshop on the Philosophy of Information, University of Hertfordshire.

April 2013: Invited talk at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP).

July 2013: Talk at the 2013 ISSPSSB meeting in Montpellier: ‘Is Shannon's Information Theory Applicable to Genetic Data?’ 

October 2013: Department talk, Max Planck MIS, Leipzig. ‘Quantifying Information on 'Population Structure'.

April 2014: Poster at "The 42nd European Mathematical Genetics Meeting 2014"

Upcoming: Presentation at '1000 Genomes Project and Beyond', 24-26 June 2014 at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK

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.