Tree of Life - Phylota Project
Phylota Database Browser
Bodega Bay Workshop
Astragalus and Oxytropis
- Tree of Life. Much of the lab's research is aimed at developing algorithms and software for assembling
data from the large sequences databases for the purpose of building comprehensive phylogenetic trees. GenBank presently archives
data on over 140,000 species, a sizable fraction of described biodiversity. We are focusing on developing a toolkit for
acquiring data and piecing it together, subject to the constraints of phylogenetic methodology. This work is currently
funded by NSF and described in more detail here.
- Phylogenetic inference. Two main areas of current research include supertree reconstruction methods and estimation of
divergence times. Having completed some initial work on MRF (Matrix representation with flips) supertree methods, we are now
looking at problems associated with defining optimal inputs for supertree construction (the problem of "groves"), and developing
methods for estimating confidence limits on supertrees.
- Molecular systematics. People in the lab are studying molecular phylogenetics in a large variety of organisms, including birds,
ants, flies, legumes, and occasional other taxa. Much of this work is aimed at addressing particular evolutionary hypotheses, such
as coevolution and rates of morphological diversification.