Allison Hsiang, Ph.D.
Mailing address: PO Box 208109, New Haven CT 06520-8109
Street address: 210 Whitney Ave., New Haven CT 06511
I am a computational and evolutionary biologist who is primarily interested in developing software tools and packages in order to answer questions about macroevolutionary dynamics and history in deep time.
My dissertation work (with Dr. Jacques Gauthier) focused on investigating phylogenetic incongruence between genetic and morphological data, using the primary test case of the position of turtles within amniotes. I studied sources of systematic bias/error in phylogenomic datasets and demonstrated the importance of fossils for phylogenetic inference and comparative methods. I also worked on the evolutionary history of squamate lizards, particularly snakes.
Currently, I am working with Dr. Pincelli Hull on developing the AutoMorph software package for automatic extraction of 2D and 3D morphological data from high-throughput microscopy images of foraminifera (https://github.com/HullLab). We are using the data generated using this software to reconstruct morphospaces and size distribution curves of foraminifer communities in order to understand the evolution of foraminifer morphology through time and space, particularly in relation to their phylogenetic history and ecological traits.
Keywords: Origin of turtles; theoretical phylogenetics; models of morphological and molecular evolution; homology and variation; evolutionary history of snakes and other squamate lizards; epigenetic processes and their effects on evolution and diversification; software development; high-throughput 2D and 3D morphological data extraction; morphological and community evolution of foraminifera.