The focus of research in the Townsend Lab is evolutionary bioinformatics and high throughput experiments, specializing in developing experimental, computational, and theoretical advances in the phylogenomics and the evolution of gene expression. We maintain an active experimental research program on the evolution of gene expression and phylogenetics in fungi, especially but not exclusively focusing on the model fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae (bread and wine yeast) and Neurospora crassa (the model filamentous "fire-burn" fungus). Our experimental work augments the conceptual grounding and insightfulness of the laboratory's development of mathematical and statistical models that yield critical insights within the biological sciences. We work on new analysis tools for microarray data and high-throughput transcriptomic data, both statistical approaches to address technical inference and approaches to bring those inferences to bear on evolutionary history. We also work on tools for experimental design, including methods that predict the most informative data sets to collect as well as novel sequencing approaches for phylogenetics. Lastly, we work to characterize the potential evolutionary consequences of horizontal gene transfer and to initiate a microbial population genetics that accommodates the microbial potential to acquire, on rare occasion, significantly divergent DNA. Throughout, we try to drive the cutting edge of bioinformatic research, e.g. developing novel web-based databases and advocating use of Web 2.0 technologies in bioinformatic applications.
School of Public Health
Yale University
135 College Street
Room 222
New Haven, CT 06510-2483
Office: (203) 737 7042