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The Initiative for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST) is a tightly knit and highly collaborative community of researchers that shares a common interest in evolutionary and computational biology. We encourage and foster interdisciplinary collaborations that blend the expertise of evolutionary biologists, ecologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, biophysicists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists to examine the underpinnings of evolutionary biology. This constitutes an important competitive edge to investigators because we can address research questions that are intractable to scientists from a single discipline. Read about the evolution of IBEST.

Many components of the University of Idaho's Land Grant mission rely on understanding and applying the evolutionary process. Understanding evolution is essential to improving human well-being because evolutionary processes drive critical health challenges such as emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and even the origin and treatment of diseases such as cancer, mental illness, and obesity. Evolutionary mechanisms also drive agricultural challenges such as the emergence of pesticide resistance, the effects of invasive species, and artificial selection for desirable traits in cultured plants and animals. Understanding evolution also helps us protect our natural heritage by informing conservation policy and providing insight into adaptation to changing environments. Less obviously, computers can use evolution to solve complicated problems and to design both software and hardware. Evolutionary computation is at the heart of the revolution in Artificial Intelligence. Evolutionary models have even proven important in understanding the diversity of languages and cultures.


If you feel your research should be a part of the IBEST community, please contact us at iids@uidaho.edu.