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Dr Tom Williams

Dr Tom Williams

Dr Tom Williams
PhD(Dub), BA(Dub)

Royal Society University Research Fellow

Area of research

Molecular evolution, phylogenetics and bioinformatics

Life Sciences Building,
24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ
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Research summary

The deep structure of the tree of life

I'm fascinated by the earliest stages of cell evolution, including the origins of bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and the relationships between them. I am applying phylogenetic and comparative genomic approaches to reconstruct the common ancestors of these groups and to draw inferences about the conditions in which they evolved on the early Earth. Working back from modern genomes to understand ancient events challenges current methods to their limits, and so I work with statisticians to develop and apply new approaches that bring new kinds of data to bear on these challenging problems ...

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Biography

I obtained a B.A. in Genetics (2007) and a Ph.D. in molecular evolution (2010) from Trinity College Dublin. My Ph.D. work with Mario Fares focused on the evolution of molecular chaperones in Bacteria and Archaea, and on the effect of chaperone-mediated buffering of destabilising mutations on protein evolutionary rates. From 2010-2015, I was a Marie Curie Fellow and then a Research Associate in Martin Embley's group at Newcastle University. In Martin's group, I worked on processes of genome evolution in the Microsporidia, a group of endoparasitic fungi with highly reduced genomes, and I became fascinated ...

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Recent publications

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View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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