Rates of molecular evolution in parasites
A broad comparative study using analysis of DNA sequence data from a wide range of parasites and their non-parasitic relatives.
Models predict that parasitic taxa should have a faster rate of molecular evolution in order to win the “arms race” against their hosts. But despite the importance of this hypothesis, it remains unknown whether this effect is common in the natural world. This project will compare rates and patterns of genomic evolution in a wide range of parasites and their non-parasitic relatives, ranging from intracellular bacteria to nest-parasitic cuckoos.