Reseach and Current Projects

Research Interests

Applications of discrete mathematics (combinatorics, graph theory) and probability theory
to contemporary problems in biology.


book Reconstructing Evolution - New Mathematical and Computational Advances, O. Gascuel and M. Steel eds., has been published (2007) by Oxford University Press. More info here.
book Phylogenetics, C. Semple and M. Steel, has just been published (Jan 2003) by Oxford University Press graduate series Mathematics and its Applications. A table of contents of this book can be found here (PDF, 29 KB). Errata (PDF, 56 KB).
* A second edition is possible but won't be out for a long time.

A list of publications (with some available as .pdf files) can be found on my publications page.

R. sericophyllus flowering
on Mt. Brewster

R. sericophyllus flowering on Mt. Brewster

Current projects

  1. Phylogeny reconstruction, including the combinatorial and computational problems surrounding supertree construction (the amalgamation of trees that classify overlapping sets of species into a parent tree), phylogenetic networks and pedigrees
  2. Modelling sequence evolution, particularly the covarion model of site substitution, and analytical bounds on the information content of sequences under Markov site substitution models.
  3. The relationship between, and analysis of different phylogenetic methods.
  4. Models of speciation and the effect this has on the shapes of phylogenetic trees. Phylogenetic diversity and conservation
  5. Random autocatalytic networks and origin of life models.
  6. Alpine plants.