Keynote Speakers


Dr. Yaniv Erlich

Data Science Institute, Colombia University, New York, USA

Date & time of the presentation: 12th September 2019, 8:30-9:15

Abstract available here.

Dr. Yaniv Erlich is the Chief Science Officer of and an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University (leave of absence). Prior to these positions, he was a Fellow at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. Dr. Erlich received his bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University, Israel (2006) and a PhD from the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2010). Dr. Erlich’s research interests are computational human genetics. Dr. Erlich is a TEDMED speaker (2018), the recipient of DARPA’s Young Faculty Award (2017), the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award (2013), Harold M. Weintraub award (2010), the IEEE/ACM-CS HPC award (2008), and he was selected as one of 2010 Tomorrow’s PIs team of Genome Technology.


António Amorim

Date & time of the presentation: 13th September, 14:30 – 15:15

Abstract available here.

Degree in Biology by the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (1974); PhD in Biology (1983)
Full Professor since 1993

Formal and population genetics.
Pure and applied genetics, forensics (human and non-human; kinship and taxonomic assignment) and diagnosis of genetic diseases.

Coordinator of the GABBA (Graduate Program in Areas of Basic and Applied Biology), University of Porto (2004, 2015-present).
Member of the Editorial Board of: PeerJ (2017-), Frontiers in Genetics (2011-), The Scientific World Journal (2012-)
National Contact Point of EUROFORGEN-NoE - European Forensic Genetics Network of Excellence
Leader of the Population Genetics and Evolution Research Group at I3S/IPATIMUP
Coordinator of the MSc Program in Forensic Genetics (FCUP, 2007-2012; 2013-).
Coordinator of the PhD Program in Biology (FCUP; 2008-2012).
Member of the Editorial Board of Forensic Science International (2004-2007), Investigative Genetics (2015-2016), Open Forensic Sciences Journal (2009-2010)
President of the Portuguese Society of Human Genetics (2004)
President of the Spanish and Portuguese Working Group of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (GHEP-ISFG)
Member of the IPATIMUP Board of Directors (1998-2010)

Seeds of Science Special, Ciência Hoje, 2012
Estímulo à Excelência, FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), 2005


Fanny Pouyet, PhD

Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Date & time of the presentation: 13th September, 8:30 – 9:15

Abstract available here.

I received a MSc degree in Biology from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and a MSc in Bioinformatics from the University of Paris VI. During my PhD in Lyon, I quantified the importance of both adaptive and non-adaptive processes on the evolution of codon usage in genes in Human.

I have currently a postdoctoral position at the University of Bern since October 2016 in the laboratory of Prof. Laurent Excoffier. My research focus on disentangling the impact of evolutionary mechanisms that constrain the genome-wide diversity in humans as a population geneticist. I am particularly interested in understanding the links between such evolutionary processes and recombination across the genome.


Prof. Dr. Lutz Roewer, PhD

Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Charité -Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany

Date & time of the presentation: 11th September 2019, 8:30 -9:15

Abstract available here.

Lutz Roewer studied biochemistry in Leipzig and received his PhD in molecular biology in 1990 at the Charité in Berlin. His early work encompassed the application of oligonucleotide probes for forensic DNA fingerprinting and the development of PCR-based methods to analyze autosomal and Y-chromosomal microsatellites. Since 2008 he is professor for forensic genetics at the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany and head of the Department of Forensic Genetics. His laboratory with 14 staff members processes several thousand crime cases per year. Lutz was awarded the scientific price of the DGRM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rechtsmedizin) in 1990 and 1998 and the scientific prize of the ISFG (International Society of Forensic Genetics) in 1999 for the development of the Y chromosome STR haplotyping method.

Lutz Roewer is founder and curator of the largest forensic reference database for Y chromosome profiles, the YHRD ( His major research interest is the molecular and population genetics of the Y chromosome with regard to its forensic application. Another research line is the evolution and demography of world populations. He studied indigenous populations in Europe, Asia and the Americas and authored large multi-centred studies on this topic. He is co-beneficiary of a grant of the European Union to develop autosomal/Y-chromosomal STR prototypes for massive parallel sequencing analysis (MPS) in forensics.


Assoc. Prof. Roland van Oorschot

School of Molecular Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia

Date & time of the presentation: 12th September, 14:30 – 15:15

Abstract available here.

After acquiring an Agricultural science and engineering degree in the Netherlands, a PhD from Macquarie University in Australia on marsupial genetics, postdoctoral positions at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio Texas on genemapping and at the Centre for Animal Biotechnology at Melbourne University in Australia on genetics of disease resistance in sheep, Roland started working, in 1992, at the Forensic Services Department of Victoria Police where he is currently a Principal RD&I Specialist. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences at La Trobe University.

Roland has over 160 publications in scientific journals and books. Including an article in Nature (in 1997) regarding the ability to retrieve directly and indirectly deposited DNA from touched objects that helped revolutionise forensic investigations. Roland has supervised over 90 postgraduate students, examined several theses, sits on University course advisory committees and has reviewed manuscripts for several journals. His current interests include the areas of: ‘DNA transfer, persistence prevalence, and recovery’, ‘contamination minimisation’ and ‘acquiring more information from available biological samples to assist investigations of criminal activity’.


Mgr. Halina Šimková

Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, the Czech Republic

Date & time of the presentation: 11th September 2019, 14:30 – 15:15

Abstract available here.

Forensic geneticist, lecturer and science popularizer.

She graduated in Anthropology and Human Genetics at the Faculty of Science at Charles University in Prague and in Scenography at Master School of Art Design in Prague. During her studies at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, she became a civilian intern at the Institute of Criminalistics in Prague, later she started working there as an expert in the field of DNA analysis. She co-founded the Czechoslovak Society for Forensic Genetics, who has been Vice-Chair since 2008. In order to demonstrate her generally declared love of uncertainty, she left her freelancer in 2016 and her interest gradually shifted mainly to promote the use of Bayesian inference in the field of forensic expertise and within other disciplines working with probabilistic conclusions.

She enjoys lecturing and popularization very much, emphasizing the use of non-verbal and combined teaching tools. She is the author of the educational book Breviary of Forensic Genetics, in 2016 she won the Neuron Prima ZOOM award for the best popular science video. She regards Bayesian inference as beautiful, brilliant and logical, and it bothers her that the vast majority of people do not know Bayesian inference at all – not even those whose decisions cannot be properly made without it. She wants to change it.