Dr. Maria Rosa Domingo-Sananes

María completed her Degree in Biology at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela followed by a MPhil in Computational Biology at the University of Cambridge. During her DPhil at the University of Oxford she worked on mathematical modelling of cell cycle control in eukaryotes. She is currently interested in the mechanisms that result in gene content diversity and pangenomes, and in the evolution of regulatory networks, in particular cell cycle control in eukaryotes. Maria is currently working as a lecturer in Microbiology at Nottingham Trent University.

Dr. Fiona Whelan

Fiona Whelan joined the McInerney research group in October 2017 as a BBSRC-funded Post-Doctoral Research Associate before starting a Marie Skłowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in 2018. Fiona completed her MSc and PhD degrees in her native Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where she studied the evolution of a eukaryotic protein family important for innate immune defence under the guidance of Dr. Dawn Bowdish. Fiona’s PhD in Dr. Michael Surette’s lab focused on understanding the contribution of the human microbiome to cystic fibrosis disease and respiratory infections in the elderly. Fiona worked on gene co-occurrence and avoidance in prokaryotic pangenomes.

Dr. Rebecca Hall

Rebecca joined the McInerney lab in December 2019 to work on gene co-occurrences in prokaryote pangenomes. She completed her PhD at the University of York where she worked on building metabolic models to understand the adaptations that arise in insect-microbe symbioses. She likes combining modelling and bioinformatics with wet lab microbiology and molecular biology, and is particularly interested in the genetic changes that occur at the initiation of symbioses. Rebecca’s work in the McInerney lab looked into whether co-occurring genes can be used to predict niche adaptation and genome evolution.

Dr. Martin Rusilowicz

Martin completed his Eng.D. in Computer Science at The University of York in 2016, during which he investigated computational approaches for the analysis of large scale omics datasets. Prior to this, he completed his Masters degree in Chemistry, having studied computational algorithms for the analysis of celestial chemical abundances. Martin worked in the McInerney Lab investigating the application of data-driven approaches to the study of introgression (“the merging of evolving entities”). This has involved the development of new, and consolidation of existing tools, in order to facilitate the creation of a no-SQL database using an architecture based on graph-theory.

Dr. David Newman.

David received a BSc in Genetics from the University of Leeds in 2004. He went on to attain an MRes in Functional Genomics in 2005 from the University of York, before studying for a PhD in Genetics on the Control of Shoot Branching in Brassica napus, which he was awarded in 2010. In the McInerney lab David worked on the evolution of eukaryotes, with the specific focus of attempting to reconstruct the metabolic capabilities of the first eukaryote, identifying the earliest arising eukaryote-specific proteins and their functions.

Dr. Rob Leigh

Rob worked on composite gene formation in the fungi. He developed several methods for composite gene identification and analysis. He is currently working as a post-doctoral research scientist in the Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbiome Research Group at Maynooth University.

Dr. Sinead Hamilton.

Sinead worked on the patterns of gene duplications in animal genomes with a focus on the evolution of sensory proteins using phylogenetic tree reconstruction and molecular dating. Sinead is currently working as a statistical programmer for Icon Clinical Research.

Dr. Aoife Doherty

Aoife graduated NUI Maynooth in 2009 with a BSc in Biology. Aoife examined the correlation between duplicability of interacting protein-coding genes in primates and their network centrality measures in the protein-protein interaction network. Aoife is currently the head of data curation and analytics at Nuritas.

Dr. Angela McCann

Angela McCann is a graduate of the Genetics and Bioinformatics degree course at NUI Maynooth. Angela worked at the Bioinformatics Core at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in the summer of 2004. She graduated in 2005 and worked on a project to examine the way in which genomes might fuse and to determine if these events have occurred in the past. Angela is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

Dr. Fergal Martin

Fergal Martin is a graduate of the NUI Maynooth Genetics and Bioinformatics degree programme. Fergal worked in the lab during the summer holidays and was funded by The Wellcome Trust and The Health Research Board. Fergal received an EMBARK scholarship and was funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. Fergal worked on methods of identifying how biochemical pathways were put together.

Dr. Victoria Svinti

Vicky worked on methods for the detection of reassortment and recombination. These included maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference approaches. Vicky is formerly a student of the NUI Maynooth BSc degree in Genetics and Bioinformatics and spent a summer working at Cold Spring Harbor in New York.

Dr. Carla Cummins

Carla worked on a Science Foundation Ireland project that aimed to understand the evolution of prokaryotic metabolism, in particular, the influence of horizontal gene transfer on metabolism. Carla is a graduate of the NUI Maynooth Genetics and Bioinformatics degree programme.

Dr. Leanne Haggerty

Leanne was funded under a Science Foundation Ireland summer programme, called the UREKA programme. Leanne worked on the generation of a phylogenetic supertree for the YESS group of prokaryotes.

Professor Davide Pisani

Davide Pisani obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol in the UK, working on theoretical phylogenetics as well as developing a genus-level phylogenetic supertree of all the dinosaurs. He subsequently worked as a post-doc at the NASA astrobiology Institute at Penn State university and then spent a short while working at The Natural History Museum, London before coming to Maynooth as a Marie Curie Fellow working on the origins of Eukaryotes. Davide is currently a professor at the University of Bristol.

Dr. James Cotton

James Cotton graduated with a 1st class honours BA in Biological Sciences from The University of Oxford in 1997. He studied from 1999 to 2003 for his PhD at the University of Glasgow in the area of Vertebrate Phylogenomics and Gene Family Evolution. He then worked with Mark Wilkinson at The Natural History Museum in London, UK and at Maynooth on an SFI-funded post-doctoral project and later, James was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by IRCSET, working on the origin of Eukaryotes. He is currently a senior staff scientist at the Sanger Institute

Dr. Jennifer Commins

Jenny worked on the influence of random genetic drift and selection on the evolution of haploid organisms. This was investigated entirely using computational methods. Jenny developed a sequence evolution simulator and evaluated how different methods of analysing evolution would deal with different evolutionary scenarios. Jenny subsequently moved to Trinity College Dublin for post-doctoral research.

Dr. Gayle Philip

Gayle worked on the development of methods for the construction of phylogenetic supertrees from genomic data. In particular, she worked on the analysis of ancient relationships among the eukaryotes and on evaluating a variety of hypotheses relating to eukaryotic evolution. Gayle is currently a Research Fellow at Melbourne Bioinformatics.

Caroline Finnerty

Caroline worked on the correlation between coding sequence evolution and the evolution of promoter sequences. In particular, she focussed on the mammals, working with completed genome sequences and predicted promoter sequences. Caroline is currently a best-selling author of fictional novels.

Dr. Thomas Keane

Thomas worked on the development of distributed computing methods in molecular phylogeny reconstruction. He developed the MultiPhyl software and the ModelGenerator software, both of whom are extensively used in phylogenetic laboratories worldwide. Thomas also worked on the evaluation of models of sequence evolution. Thomas is currently Team Leader for the European Genome-phenome Archive and European Variation Archive at the European Bioinformatics Institute.

Dr. Rhoda Kinsella

Rhoda worked on the influence of horizontal gene transfer on the evolution of the Actinobacteria, focussing somewhat on the evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes Tuberculosis. Rhoda found that this organism has obtained a number of its fatty acid synthesis genes from alpha-proteobacteria. Rhoda subsequently worked at the Sanger Centre in Cambridge, UK.

Dr. Simon Travers

Simon worked on the evolution of HIV and focussed on an outbreak of subtype C in rural Malawi. He also worked on trying to understand the selective pressures acting on the virus globally. Simon is currently the CEO at Hyrax Biosciences.

Dr. Melissa Pentony

Melissa worked on the development of quartet-based methods for the construction of phylogenetic supertrees and on methods for evaluating the robustness of the hypotheses generated by these supertrees. Melissa is currently working as a bioinformatician at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford, UK.

Dr. David Fitzpatrick

Dave worked on the origin of the mitochondrion and the phylogeny of the alpha proteobacteria as well as the evolution of a group of proteins that are essential for cell viability. Dave is currently an Associate Professor at Maynooth University.

Dr. Mary O’Connell

Mary worked on the evolution of the human and mouse genomes, in particular the selective pressures that have shaped their evolution over the past 100 million years or more. Mary is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Professor Chris Creevey

Chris worked in the lab first as a graduate student and subsequently as a post doc. He has developed the CLANN software as well as the CRANN software for inferring phylogenetic supertrees and for detecting selection respectively. Chris is currently working at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.