Molecular evolution and Phylogenetics

The analysis of molecular sequence divergence is central to phylogenetic reconstruction and to dissecting the relative contributions of mutation and natural selection. Phylogenetic reconstruction is the estimation of the relationships amongst a group of sequences. This is most commonly applied to understanding the evolutionary relationships among species of organisms. Establishing whether natural selection, for instance, has influenced the evolution of DNA sequences typically requires a phylogenetic tree to be known.

Projects in this topic will apply the novel statistical methods developed from other projects in the lab. These models can be applied either to establish the robustness of phylogenetic reconstruction techniques or to discerning what factors have influenced sequence divergence.

Students would learn basic programming skills (if required) and have the opportunity to interact with numerous bioinformaticians, computer scientists and statisticians both here at ANU and internationally.