As species diverge, specific molecular changes drive phenotypic changes and ultimately adaptations. Understanding the mechanism of the evolution of new functionality in genomes and how this correlates with the phenotypic divergence of species is the central theme of my research group.
Important genomic events include horizontal transfer, gene duplication, sequence divergence, gene expression divergence, mRNA splicing pattern divergence, and a host of other mechanisms. Detecting and collating these different events in a phylogenetic perspective is an ongoing process. This involves methods development, both at the DNA and protein sequence levels using model-based approaches, at protein structural levels, and at systems network levels.