Professor Kevin Liu awarded NSF GrantKevin Liu, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, has been awarded an NSF grant entitled "Fast and accurate computational tools for large-scale evolutionary inference: a phylogenetic network approach".
Phylogenies are typically inferred using computational analysis of biomolecular sequence data, and phylogenetic comparative methods are used for evolutionary analysis of continuous biological data (e.g., trait data). Today, "big data" challenges abound due to rapid advances in sequencing and related biotechnologies. In particular, large-scale datasets with hundreds of genomes are now common. The state of the art of phylogenetic inference therefore faces two critical scalability challenges: (1) the number of organisms in a study, and (2) greater evolutionary divergence reflecting the complex interplay of tree-like and non-tree-like evolution. This project will create new computational approaches that address both challenges for discrete sequence data and continuous data. Broader impacts of the proposed research activities include scientific outreach, graduate and undergraduate training that includes students from underrepresented minorities, and dissemination of open-source software and benchmarks.
(Date Posted: 2017-06-16)