Given current large-scale sequencing efforts, such as the Vertebrate Genomes Project and the recently proposed Earth BioGenomes Project, inferring evolutionary trees (called phylogenies) on genome-scale datasets is of increasing importance. My work focuses on designing and implementing phylogeny estimation methods that can effectively utilize distributed-memory systems and that have provable statistical guarantees (e.g., statistical consistency under stochastic models of evolution). I am interested in making phylogenetic inference under complex statistical models both highly accurate and computationally tractable; thus, my current research combines discrete algorithms and parallel computing. Recently, I have become interested in gene duplication and loss, and in the near future, I hope to expand my research agenda to other areas of bioinformatics, focusing on how core computational tasks can be improved through modeling evolutionary processes.
Currently, I am at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I am a Computer Science PhD candidate, advised by Professors Tandy Warnow and William Gropp. During graduate school, I have been awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the Ira and Debra Cohen Graduate Fellowship in Computer Science, and two exploratory allocations on the Blue Waters supercomputer in support of my dissertation research. Before coming to Illinois, I was a neuroimaging researcher at the Health Emotions Research Institute (University of Wisconsin-Madison). My bachelor's degree is in physics from the University of Chicago.