About my Research
Comparative genomics & gene evolution
I am broadly interested in molecular evolution. Using computational biology, I am interested in understanding how genes evolve over large evolutionary time scales, including rates of gain, loss and duplication, patterns of reticulate evolution in genes (such as gene fusion), and causes and consequences of rapid sequence evolution. The endless modes of gene evolution continue to provide fascinating insights with the growing amount of genome data.
Insects, and arthropods more generally, are an amazing model for understanding the evolution of adaptation. This is the largest group of animals, in terms of number of species, which has undergone drastic changes in phenotype to avail of new niches. In particular, I aim to understand the links between genotype and phenotype in species with interesting traits, such as winglessness and transitions to aquatic environments. To do this I use a combination of computational and wet lab approaches to reveal the molecular underpinnings of trait evolution.
To understand how genes and genomes evolve over time, we require an accurate reconstruction of how species are related to each other. I am interested in using methods to parse phylogenetic signal from large datasets in order to infer an accurate species tree. I find difficult to resolve evolutionary questions fascinating in particular - such as the deep branches at the root of the animal tree of life and within the major groups of Bilateria.