Please contact Eddie Holmes () if you would like to join our group.
My research interests lie in studying viral evolution, the evolution of transposable elements, and genome dynamics. My current research concerns
(i) the evolution of exogenous and endogenous retroviruses,
(ii) mobile DNAs and their potential influence on hosts,
(iii) the evolutionary dynamics of human emerging infectious viruses, and (iv) gene/genome adaptive evolution.
RNA viruses are ubiquitous in nature, infecting plants, animals, bacteria and, of course, humans. This widespread abundance throughout the domains of life demonstrates an immense genetic diversity that allows RNA viruses to adapt and evolve in the face of ever changing environments and hosts.
The ultimate aim of my research is to explain and identify the source of genetic diversity in RNA viruses. This work has led me to examine patterns of evolution of RNA viruses as well as the underlying mechanisms that control replication fidelity (mutation rates) in RNA-dependent RNA polymerases.
My research area is computational evolutionary biology. I mainly work on the evolution and molecular epidemiology of influenza viruses (human and avian influenza, including highly pathogenic H5N1).
I have also been involved with the analysis of other pathogens such Plasmodium malaria and HIV.
I currently develop statistical models aiming at identifying geographic and evolutionary patterns of infectious diseases.
Mathematical modelling is a useful and necessary tool for projecting how disease – both communicable and non-communicable – is likely to progress in a population. In particular, models can help inform how movement of humans and animals may impact the dynamics of disease transmission.
I am interested in modelling these dynamics to gain a better understanding of how to control and prevent disease.
I have a broad interest in molecular evolution with viruses my main model organism. Currently, I'm working on the patterns and determinants of cross-species virus transmission and emergence, and which represents a substantial threat to both public and animal health.
The aim of my research is to;
(i) examine the role of cross-species transmission in virus evolution,
(ii) characterize cross-species transmission events in a wide array of viral families, and
(iii) use molecular evolutionary approaches to identify the genetic signature of virus adaptation during these host jumps.
Combined, my analyses will help provide guidance in disease control and prevention.