I have a background in computer science, artificial intelligence, and theory of computation. After spending some time working in industry I grew tired of solving routine ‘mechanical’ IT problems and decided to return to academia to pursue my PhD in evolutionary biology, under the assumption that evolution, as a highly stochastic and contingent process, would provide more interesting challenges. Turns out I was right on one front, but wrong on another. Evolution is indeed characterized by contingency and stochasticity, but modelling the uncertainty of evolutionary processes is a wildly interesting project, given that theory and modelling are all about developing mechanistic models of non-deterministic processes.
My core research revolves around several themes, the binding element of which is comparative population genetics. One target of my research is to characterize and develop models to explain the distribution of genetic variation in ecological communities. A related focus is to develop models of how biodiversity accumulates in ecological communities that integrate over multiple levels of biological organization, including species abundances, genetic diversities, and phylogenetic relationships. Expanding beyond individual communities, I am also interested in constructing machine learning models which use observed community-level data along with environmental data to identify environmental correlates of commuity abundance and genetic diversity structure. Finally, I construct inferential frameworks utilizing whole-genome data to understand how geographically co-distributed taxa have or have not concordantly responded to fluctuating shared environmental conditions.
From 2019-2021 I was a postdoc in the Morlon group at Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, where I developed theory and models of island biodiversity genomics. My position was associated with an EU funded (Horizon 2020) project which you may learn more about at the website: https://www.ibiogen.eu/.
I am currently a postdoc in the https://www.ecoevomatics.org/ with Andy Rominger at the University of Maine. My work here revolves around continued development and application of our Rules of Life Engine (the RoLE model), which unifies ecological and evolutionary processes to better understand how biodiversity is generated and maintained. The NSF award abstract for this project is https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1927319&HistoricalAwards=false.