Iowa State University
Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal Biology
Phylogenetic trees depict the evolutionary relationships among species, populations, or genes, and allow researchers to investigate biology in an evolutionary context. Phylogenies are integral tools used to identify regions of protein-coding genes under selection, determine optimal approaches for the conservation of species, identify factors correlated with speciation or extinction, shed light on the evolutionary history of morphological characters, and reveal patterns of human migration through the study of language evolution. Our research focuses on developing methods and statistical models for inferring phylogenetic relationships and uncovering evolutionary patterns of rate variation.