I am currently a post-doc in the lab of Eske Willerslev in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

Contact Detils

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St
United Kingdom


Current Research

My current research focuses on the bioinformatic challenges of the SinPoll project. The aim of this project is to sequence fossil pollens to reconstruct ancient plant population sizes. I am also working on bioinformatics problems in the wider field of ancient DNA.


From January 2016 to July 2018 I was a post-doc in the lab of John Hickey at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. My research focused on phasing genotype data and the subsequent use of this phase information in genotype imputation. I was involved in maintaining AlphaPhase and developing it so that it can be used with the large datasets, involving hundreds of thousands animals, now becoming avaliable.

From January 2014 to December 2015 I worked in the Myles lab at the University of Dalhousie. Here my research focused on genotype imputation. Genotype imputation is often used with next-generation DNA sequencing to improve the results of downstream analysis such as Genome Wide Association Scans (GWAS). Most current genotype imputation methods were developed for human or other high quality data sets where there is a pool of reference samples and sequencing is often done at sufficient depth to make confident genotype calls. In non-model organisms, such as apple (Malus domestica), this is often not the case and my research focuses on evaluating existing methods on these datasets and developing new imputation methods.

From November 2011 to November 2013 I was a post doc in the lab of Mark Holder at the University of Kansas. My research focused on methods for detecting and correcting a class of alignment errors: over compression. Each column in an alignment represents residues that should be inherited from a common ancestor. Under a strict interpretation of homology, each site in an alignment can be explained at most one insertion, but possibly multiple deletions. In a compressed alignment, residues inherited from an insertion event appear in the same column as residues that did not arise from that event. Our method compares site-likelihoods under a model that allows multiple insertions to site-likelihoods under a form of stochastic Dollo model which prohibits multiple insertions in the same column. Site-likelihood comparisons that favour multiple insertions can be used to guide the splitting of a single column into two or more columns in which all of the residues do appear to be homologous.

I completed my PhD at the University of Manchester in 2011, working in the lab of Dr. Simon Whelan, who is now at Uppsala University. My PhD research was focused on two areas, linked by the common thread of phylogenetic trees:

Previous to doing my PhD I completed a MSc in Bioinformatics, also at the University of Manchester. Between my first degree and my masters I work for the UK Ministry of Defence near Bath, for five years. I obtained my first degree, a BSc in Computer Science, from the University of Wales, Swansea (now the University of Swansea).