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Group Salamin
Molecular Phylogenetics and Speciation

Phyloinformatics and Molecular Phylogenetics

Please visit my group website for more details (http://www2.unil.ch/phylo).

My group is interested in developping and testing methods to build and use phylogenetic trees to study evolution. Three areas of research are investigated in my group:

1. Building the Tree of Life.
Building large phylogenetic trees is an NP-hard problem, and heuristic strategies have to be used to infer trees containing hundreds of terminal taxa. We are investigating the performances of current methods of reconstruction with computer simulations and empirical examples from the angiosperms. We are also developping new methods to build the Tree of Life.

2. Mode and tempo of evolution.
Phylogenetic trees can give insight into the mode and tempo of species evolution. We are developping methods to estimate the rate of speciation and extinction through time using a Maximum Likelihood approach.

3. Grass evolution.
Grasses are one of the most ecologically and economically important plant family, and we are interesting in understanding what are the patterns and processes driving grass evolution. At the molecular level, we are investigating the evolution of enzyme involved in the C4 photosynthetic pathways (collaboration with Guillaume Besnard). We are also investigating the macroevolution of this family by looking at the traits affecting grass diversification and testing coevolution between grass species and herbivores (collaboration with Trevor Hodkinson at the University of Dublin, Trinity College).


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