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Phylogenetic Methods and Theory

Mike Steel

Biomathematics Research Centre,
Department of Mathematics and Statistics,
University of Canterbury,
Webpage: http://www.math.canterbury.ac.nz/~mathmas/

Colleagues involved in collaborative biodiversity projects:
Dr. Peter Lockhart (AWCMEE)
Prof. Daniel Huson (Tuebingen, Germany)
Prof Vincent Moulton (Uppsala, Sweden)

I’m interested in developing new phylogenetic approaches for analysing molecular (and other) data. Some projects I am currently involved in include:

  • Developing methods to represent reticulate evolution (such as the evolution of hybrid species).
  • Using the ‘shape’ of phylogenies to test speciation hypotheses.
  • Developing ‘supertree’ methods that combine phylogenies that classify overlapping sets of taxa into a larger parent tree.
  • Developing methods to test and exploit asymmetric models of molecular evolution, such as covarion-type models.
  • Investigating new approaches to the use of genomic data (such as gene order) for inferring phylogeny.

At the Biomathematics Research Centre (part of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Canterbury) there are some other mathematicians and statisticians (including students and postdocs) working in this area. Visitors (especially biologists with an interesting problem where maths could be helpful) are very welcome! I also co-ordinate one of the Allan Wilson Centre’s four projects (New ecological and evolutionary models).