As we move into the 21st century, it is becoming apparent that learning about the past can critically aid us in facing emergent challenges to biodiversity
Given the rapid pace of global change devloping this understanding now is fundamentally important if we want to accurately forecast how biodiversity will be impacted by factors ranging from species invasion, ocean acidification, development, and rising temperatures
Learn about our own work concerning the evolution of biodiversity and global change and how these relate to the findings from the research efforts of our friends and colleagues here!
Our ability to ward off infection hinges on the ability to differentiate normal cells (self) from pathogens and infected cells (non-self). This ability is a hallmark of vertebrate immunity and up to one fifth of the vertebrate genome is comprised of immunologically related gene families
However, the genetic diversity of these families is highly heterogeneous. The individual genes that make up a family may vary in both number and rates of molecular evolution, and different individuals in the same species may not share the same genes.
Our goal is to understand the mechanisms and functional consequences of immune gene evolution
Evolutionary biology is often considered a historical discipline. However, leveraging the power of evolutionary biology allows us to better understand, prevent, or treat disease. Our work on the durability of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 underscore its important role in informing decision-making, and provide a crucial stepping stone toward robust knowledge of our prospects of resistance to reinfection
A major initiative in the lab is to continue work that integrates knowledge of pathogen and host diversity into a phylogenetic framework to provide critical insights that can aid our efforts to thwart existing and emergent diseases
Reconstructing the Tree of Life gives us an evolutionary roadmap of the pathways various organisms took to the present day. This perspective is essential for topics that span a lineage's response to climate change to metastatic cascades in cancer. However, estimating phylogenies is far from trivial
Genome scale datasets provide a wealth of information, but also a lot of noise. Picture hiding a giant needle with an answer in a massive haystack. In our group we develop tools and theory to find that needle of information. This allows us to harness the power of massive sequence datasets and estimate robust phylogenies
Follow our work and see where it intersects with the work of others
Summaries of our latest papers along with links to pdfs or tutorials
This is mostly for lab members and links to lab protocols and tutorials
Photos of various places, plants, and animals
Links to writing tips and guides
Link to lab meeting schedule for lab members