(Participants: Please add your biosketch in alphabetical order by last name. Add a photo and links to your web page etc. if you wish.)

Full list from KITP website is available here

Ben Callahan

Graduate Student in Physics at UCSB, working for Boris Shraiman. Email me at benj@physics.ucsb.edu
Big picture interests: How does evolution produce complex phenotypes? Complex phenotypes being those in which many interacting parts produce a desirable result.
Current focus: Viral evolution, particularly in the presence of an immune response.
Current draft of manuscript on Emergent Colinearity in Modular Polyketide Synthases

Misha Chertkov

is a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory (Theory Division). His interests include statistical and mathematical physics applied to information theory, computer science, hydrodynamics, optics and bio-physics. Current interest: statistical inference, ``physics" of computational complexity and physics related algorithms in computer science (e.g. Belief Propagation and Irreversible Monte-Carlo).

Ryan Gutenkunst

is a postdoc currently working with Scott Williamson and Carlos Bustamante at Cornell University. My work in population genetics has focused on diffusion-based methods for inferring demography. Other interests include adaptive evolution and the dynamics and evolution of biochemical networks.

Bob Griffiths

is Professor of Mathematical Genetics in the Statistics Department at the University of Oxford. Research interests are Mathematical Population Genetics, particularly in modeling stochastic evolution by diffusion processes and coalescent process and developing computational algorithms for ancestral inference from samples of genes, such as ages of mutations and the time to the ancestor of the genes. His web page is here.

Oskar Hallatschek

  • is currently setting up a small group on evolutionary dynamics (theory and experiments) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization in Goettingen, Germany.
  • previously worked on the evolutionary impact of range expansions ("gene surfing").
  • is generally interested in how evolutionary dynamics plays out in space. E.g., are the speed of adaptation and the genetic load due to deleterious mutations just as in well-mixed populations? (No!). How can we disentangle demographic history and the signatures of natural selection?
  • would like to learn, at the KITP, how much more we could possibly infer about the evolutionary history of a species using terabytes of sequence data.

Paul Higgs

Currently - Canada Research Chair in Biophysics at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
Current web page: here
Formerly - lecturer in Bioinformatics at University of Manchester, UK.
Originally - PhD in Polymer Physics at University of Cambridge, UK.
General Interests - Molecular evolution. Phylogenetic methods. RNA structure. Theoretical biology.
Current work -
(i) Evolution of the genetic code. How do variant codes arise in mitochondrial genomes (i.e. codon reassignment), and how did the standard genetic code arise in the earliest stages of evolution?
(ii) Translational selection and codon usage. Coevolution between tRNA gene content and codon usage - possibility of multiple stable states. Distinguishing selection from context-dependent mutation (both cause codon bias). Difference between selection for translational speed and translational accuracy.
(iii) Evolution of mitochondrial genomes. We have an online database of over 1000 animal mitochondrial genomes (see OGRe).
(iv) RNA World, Autocatalytic sets and the Origin of Life.
Shameless plugs for recent books -
Higgs and Attwood (2005) Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution- Masters or upper undergrad level textbook
Pudritz, Higgs and Stone (2007) Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life- Book of review articles on Astrobiology.

Susan Holmes

Currently a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University ( Homepage). My statistical specialty is multivariate nonparametric methods, in particular the bootstrap and MCMC based methods. I am interested in inference about evolution and dynamical processes, in particular HIV and cancer.

Marty Kreitman

is a professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution and senior fellow in the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology (IGSB) at the University of Chicago. His interests include inferences about evolutionary processes, especially actions of natural selection, from DNA sequence polymorphism and divergence data. He is also interested in the evolution of cis-regulatory sequences and the evolution of robustness in developmental pathways and networks.

Thomas Leitner

is a staff member of the Theoretical Biology & Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM. His interests are mainly focused on HIV evolution, genetic variation and molecular epidemiology, but also include studies of mtDNA and bacterial evolution. Currently, he is interested in how phylogenetics can be used to inform about how virus have spread among hosts and how to analyze massive resequencing data.

Richard Neher

is a post-doc at KITP working with Boris Shraiman on the interplay of recombination and epistatic selection. My background is statistical physics and biophysics. For those who are interested, please have a look at our recent manuscript entitled
"Collective behavior of weakly epistatic genetic polymorphisms in the presence of recombination..supplement

Pierre Neveu

is a postdoc at KITP working with Boris Shraiman. I am an experimentalist with background in biophysics and molecular genetics. I am using a synthetic biology approach to study how epistasis affects allele frequency dynamics. The experiment is intended as a test of Neher and Shraiman theoretical predictions.

Luca Peliti

is professor of Statistical Mechanics at the Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, University ''Federico II'' in Napoli (Italy). His interests include the theory of fluctuations in small systems and the statistical mechanics approach to evolving populations.

Boris Shraiman

Permanent member of KITP/Professor of physics at UCSB. Background: Statistical physics. Current interest: Joy of recombination and population genetics of interacting alleles.
Is genome architecture a "frozen accident"?

Chris Tyler-Smith

is leader of the Human Evolution team at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK, with a background in biology and genetics. Interests include human genetic variation (both SNP and structural variation), human demographic history and natural selection.

Massimo Vergassola

is Directeur de Recherche CNRS and head of a research group at the Pasteur Institute, in Paris, working on biological physics. His background is in statistical physics and past work has focused on Lattice Gas, statistical fluid dynamics and hydrodynamic models for the formation of large-scale structures. His current interests include regulatory processes and their evolution, the motility of living organisms and inference methods, namely in their applications to population genetics and genomics.

Chris Wiggins

professor at columbia university. research applications include biophysics and also a set of things which are generally classified as "systems biology". research tools include statistical inference and machine learning. metainterest is how complex a theory we should be allowed to learn from a finite set of data. Here's the notes from my talk