My research is best described as “model-based evolutionary genomics” and is based on the recognition that our understanding of biological systems is often limited not by the lack of data, but by our ability to extract information from already available large scale datasets. I aim to develop a coherent treatment of evolutionary processes at different time scales, from the diversification of species over hundreds of millions of years to the decade long development of tumors. My research focuses on two topics that are currently the subject of intense international interest, each aiming to extract quantitative information on the underlying biological processes from large genomic datasets: 1. reconstructing a dated tree of life from complete genomes using phylogenetic discord as molecular fossils and 2. understanding cancer evolution in hierarchically differentiating tissue using tumor genomes.
More practically, my group develops bioinformatics methods (in particular phylogenetics and phylogenomics software including ALE) and computational models (most recently stochastic simulations of somatic evolution) and uses these together with genome-scale datasets to address open biological questions.
ORCID (ID 0000-0002-8556-845X)