I have been an assistant professor at U of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology for five years (coming up for tenure in the 2014/15 academic year). In my lab, we develop and apply phylogenetic tools to address evolutionary questions. They are usually generated by a direct research need: how can we tell whether this group is evolving at a different rate? How can we choose between phylogeographic models without limiting ourselves to a pre-selected small set? Is there hidden variation in states that lets some herbaceous plants retain the ability to make wood while others have lost this ability? By developing techniques to address these questions, we both solve the original question and enable other biologists to use these new techniques to answer more questions. Broadly, the areas covered include trait evolution, species delimitation, phylogeography, dating trees, and more work in progress. See more info here. In the last five years, work in the lab has been funded by three NSF grants to me as PI or Co-PI as well as awards from iPlant, Encyclopedia of Life, and Google Summer of Code to me or people doing work in the lab (see more info here). Grad students in the lab have been supported by teaching assistantships as well as a PEER fellowship. The UT Knoxville-based National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) remains critically important for my work, whether by funding independent postdocs (I have mentored six NIMBioS postdocs, in addition to three additional postdocs in my lab with other funds), sponsoring workshops, or organizing working groups.
Much of the work in the lab involves developing, implementing, and testing new phylogenetic methods. These are implemented in C++, perl, and, most commonly, R. All our software is open source, and we strive to also release all the data, as well (with some exceptions due to restrictions by coauthors).
For more about joining my lab, or other opportunities in Knoxville, see here. Location and contact info are here. Browse the menu to the left for more info. Note that in areas that expand, you can click on the first name ("Lab", "Tutorials", etc.) to go to an overview page.