About Professor Simon Ho

Professor Ho is a computational evolutionary biologist who is interested in phylogenetics, molecular evolution, and molecular clocks. His research involves the use of genomic data to answer questions about the evolutionary history of life on earth.

I am a researcher in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, where I originally completed my BSc (2002) and MSc (2003). I then completed my PhD in mid-2006 at the University of Oxford, where I conducted research in the Ancient Biomolecules Centre.

After staying in Oxford as a postdoctoral researcher for a year, I joined the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University in 2008 as a Lecturer and ARC-funded Australian Postdoctoral Fellow.

In 2010 I returned to the University of Sydney, where I became a Senior Lecturer in the then School of Biological Sciences (now  School of Life and Environmental Sciences). I was then awarded an ARC-funded QEII Research Fellowship (2011-2015).

Together with A/ Prof. Nathan Lo, I run the “Molecular Ecology, Evolution, and Phylogenetics” research group. I run the Evolution Journal Club, which meets on a fortnightly basis, and also run an annual workshop on phylogenetics. I give several guest lectures each year and am a member of the Honours committee within the School.

Selected publications

  1. Ho SYW, Lanfear R, Phillips MJ, Barnes I, Thomas JA, Kolokotronis S-O, and Shapiro B (2011) Bayesian estimation of substitution rates from ancient DNA sequences with low information content. Systematic Biology, in press. PMID: 21296909.
  2. Ho SYW, and Phillips MJ (2009) Accounting for calibration uncertainty in phylogenetic estimation of evolutionary divergence times. Systematic Biology, 58: 367-380. PMID: 20525591.
  3. Endicott P, Ho SYW, Metspalu M, and Stringer C (2009) Evaluating the mitochondrial timescale of human evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 24: 515-521. PMID: 19682765.
  4. Ho SYW, Larson G, Edwards CJ, Heupink TH, Lakin KE, Holland PWH, and Shapiro B (2008b) Correlating Bayesian date estimates with climatic events and domestication using a bovine case study. Biology Letters, 4: 370-374. PMID: 18426745.
  5. Ho SYW (2007) Calibrating molecular estimates of substitution rates and divergence times in birds. Journal of Avian Biology, 38: 409-414. PMID: 18286172.
  6. Ho SYW, Shapiro B, Phillips MJ, Cooper A, and Drummond AJ (2007b) Evidence for time dependency of molecular rate estimates. Systematic Biology, 56: 515-522. PMID: 17562475.
  7. Drummond AJ, Ho SYW, Phillips MJ, and Rambaut A (2006) Relaxed phylogenetics and dating with confidence. PLoS Biology, 4: e88. PMID: 16683862.
  8. Ho SYW, and Larson G (2006) Molecular clocks: When times are a-changin'. Trends in Genetics, 22: 79-83. PMID: 16356585.
  9. Ho SYW, Phillips MJ, Cooper A, and Drummond AJ (2005b) Time dependency of molecular rate estimates and systematic overestimation of recent divergence times. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 22: 1561-1568. PMID: 15814826.
  10. Ho SYW, Phillips MJ, Drummond AJ, Cooper A (2005a) Accuracy of rate estimation using relaxed-clock models with a critical focus on the early metazoan radiation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 22: 1355-1363. PMID: 15758207.