Research interestsI am working on reconstructing a phylogeny of the annelid family Nereididae. There are about 650 described species of nereid worms and most of these live in marine, or brackish, water, but some have adopted to various freshwater habitats instead. Despite containing one of the most well studied lophotrochozoan model organisms (that is, Platnyereis dumerilii), a well-supported phylogeny of this annelid family has yet to exist. Newly generated transcriptomic and genomic data will be analysed using state of the art computational methods for phylogenetic inference, in order to derive a more stable phylogeny for Nereididae.
I have also developed the tree-based orthology inference program PhyloPyPruner (https://gitlab.com/fethalen/phylopypruner) in colaboration with Dr. Kevin Kocot (kocotlab.com) and Steven Haddock (https://www.mbari.org/haddock-steven/). In addition to filters and algorithms seen in pre-existing tools such as PhyloTreePruner, UPhO, Agalma and Phylogenomic Dataset Reconstruction, this package provides new methods for differentiating contamination-like sequences from paralogs.