Bacterial phylogenies are generally built using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), as their behaviour is well-studied, and they usually produce robust phylogenetic trees. However, many other forms of genetic variation affect bacterial genomes, including small insertions/deletions, rearrangements, recombination, and gene acquisition/loss. Including these in phylogenetic reconstruction could improve the resolution of these trees, and provide clearer understanding of the contribution of these processes to bacterial evolution. The project will involve large-scale phylogenetic reconstruction and modelling of the rates of these changes in different bacterial lineages over time, in order to incorporate them into phylogenetic reconstruction methods.
How to apply: Contact the Supervisor ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss the project before submitting an official application. More details on the application process here: How to apply | Department of Veterinary Medicine (cam.ac.uk)