Dr. Mary O’Connell – Co-organiser (Leeds University, UK)
Dr Mary J. O’Connell graduated with her BSc and PhD from the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM). Her PhD work was on the topic of evolutionary rate heterogeneity in the coding regions of mammal genomes and her postdoctoral work at UCC was in epigenomics specifically on the molecular evolution of genomic imprinting. These projects spanned protein coding and non-coding aspects of mammal genomics and formed the foundation of her interest in functional comparative genomics and computational evolutionary biology. In 2005, as fully tenured academic in the School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University Ireland, she established the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution research group and in 2015 she became “250 Great Minds University Academic Fellow in Computational Evolutionary Biology” at the University of Leeds. Her current research spans many areas of evolutionary biology, including phylogenetics and mechanisms of protein evolution, and integrates evolutionary predictions with molecular and biochemical analyses. She is focused on understanding the patterns and processes of evolution that underpin phenotypic diversity. http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/staff/profile.php?tag=OConnell_M
Dr. Chris Creevey – Co-Organiser (Aberystwyth University, Wales)
Dr Chris Creevey is a reader at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, Wales. His research focusses on identifying the genomic factors influencing phenotypic changes in organisms from Bacteria to Eukaryotes, and the development of novel approaches to investigating metagenomic data from microbial communities. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 from the National University of Ireland for his work in the area of phylogenetics and comparative genomics. Following this he worked as a postdoctoral researcher for the McInerney Lab in NUI Maynooth and in European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany before being awarded an SFI Stokes Lectureship in Teagasc, Ireland. He started his current position in IBERS in 2013. http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/staff/chc30/
Dr. Karen Siu Ting – Co-Organiser (Aberystwyth University, Wales)
Dr. Siu-Ting is a Peruvian biologist and herpetologist. She recently obtained a Marie Curie cofund postdoctoral fellowship to carry out research in IBERS and DCU, Ireland. Her postdoctoral project focuses on transcriptomics and metagenomics of anurans to understand toxic sequestration from diet. Her PhD, focused on large-scale phylogenetic methods incorporating novel genetic and genomic data from traditional and NGS techniques in the amphibian tree of life, carried out jointly at NUI Maynooth and the Natural History Museum, London.
Her previous work at the Natural History Museum in Lima, Peru, includes extensive fieldwork as well as the use of barcoding techniques for assessing cryptic amphibian species, discoveries of new species and analyzing the diversity and conservation status of Peruvian amphibians and reptiles. She obtained her MSc and BSc from San Marcos University in Lima, Peru. http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/staff/kas63/
Dr. Fred Chu – Co-Organiser (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP))
Dr. Fred Chu is the director of the IIAP Amazonas research centre in Peru. Fred earned an undergraduate Biological Sciences degree (1995) from Peru’s Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana, and an M.S. (2000) in Aquatic Biology and Fisheries from Universidade Federal do Amazonas in Brazil. Fred then joined the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP) in his hometown of Iquitos, Peru, and through that institute’s collaborative research agreement with Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) studied for a Ph.D. on Aquatic Biology.
Dr. Davide Pisani – (University of Bristol, UK)
Dr. Pisani’s primary degree was awarded by the University of Parma (Italy), and his Ph.D by the University of Bristol (UK). During his PhD he investigated some mathematical properties of existing supertree methods, pinpointing weaknesses of these methods and proposed new approaches. He also led a team of palaeobiologists from the University of Bristol to produce the first genus level supertree for the Dinosauria. Dr. Pisani then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the NASA Astrobiology Institute (Pennsylvania State University lead team), The Natural History Museum (London), and for the National University of Ireland Maynooth, as a Marie Curie Intra-European Research fellow.He then worked as a Lecturer of Bioinformatics at the National University of Ireland Maynooth from Januray 2007 to July 2012. Dr. Pisani is currently Reader of Phylogenomics at the University of Bristol. He is also a Scientific associate of the Natural History Museum of London, and a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (MIT lead team). http://www.bris.ac.uk/earthsciences/people/davide-pisani/index.html
Dr. Claudia Russo (Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro (UFRJ), Brasil)
Dr. Claudia Russo is the head of department of genetics at the Institute of Biology in UFRJ, Brasil. She is also an Associate Editor of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. Her research interests are in bioinformatics and the areas of molecular phylogeny and systematics, especially of animals, focusing on estimates of divergence times. http://ufrj.academia.edu/ClaudiaRusso
Dr. Omar Rota-Stabelli (Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy)
Omar is an evolutionary biologist with expertise in arthropod evolution, mitogenomics, phylogenomics and clocks. He did a Phd in molecular evolution at University College London (with Max Telford and Zhieng Yang) and a postodoc in molecuar dating in Maynooth (with Davide Pisani and James McInerney). He is now a Marie Curie Postdoc at the Edmund Mach Foundation working on insects phylogenomics.
Professor James McInerney (University of Manchester, UK)
Professor James McInerney is a chair in evolutionary biology at the faculty of life sciences in Manchester University UK. He has worked on several aspects of gene and genome evolution, including phylogenetic analysis of genes and genomes, the evolution of codon usage patterns, variation in natural selection on amino acids and the analysis of Horizontal (or Lateral) Gene Transfer (HGT/LGT). Prof. McInerney has supervised 20 PhD students, been awarded Marie Curie fellowships, been funded to the tune of more than €3.5 million in direct research funding and been involved in more than €39 Million in programme grants. In total he has published more than 75 articles and been an invited speaker at more than 60 conferences. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/james.mcinerney
Dr. Mark Wilkinson (The Natural History Museum, London, UK)
Dr Wilkinson is a Merit Researcher in the Herpetology Research Group at the Natural History Museum, London. He combines an empirical focus on the poorly known caecilian amphibians with research interests in phylogenetic methods. His PhD work included pioneering studies of the impact of missing data upon phylogenetic methods and the development of consensus methods. He has an ongoing interest in the analysis of morphological data, especially in how characters are formulated, has developed many measures and tests for phylogenetic problems and has most recently been a substantial contributor to the development and critical evaluation of supertree methods. He previously held research posts and taught at the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol and has published more than 175 scientific papers and book chapters. http://www.bmnh.org/web_users/mw/
Dr. Claire Morgan (Imperial College London, UK.)
Dr. Morgan is a Research Associate in Computational Genomics at the Department of Medicine in Imperial College, London, UK. Her research interests are in combining evolutionary theory and genomics to investigate genetic mechanisms underlying disease. Following award of her IRCSET scholarship she began investigation of molecular adaptations in genes associated with aging and disease in placental mammals. She used heterogeneous models to identify the earliest diverging placental mammal as the ancestor to Afrotherians (e.g. Elephants and Manatees) and Xenartha (e.g. Armadillos and Sloths). Claire currently works in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis and combines evolutionary theory and genomics to pinpoint mutations in humans that give rise to metabolic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. http://www.imperial.
Dra. Carmen Rosa García Dávila – (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana IIAP, Iquitos, Peru)