I’m a philosopher of science and a software engineer. I work at the University of Sydney, Australia, where I’m a Research Fellow on the project “The Causal Foundations of Biological Information” with Paul Griffiths, Karola Stotz, and Arnaud Pocheville. I’m currently visiting Auckland University in New Zealand, where I’m an honorary Research Fellow. Previously, I was an SFI/ASU post-doctoral fellow at Arizona State University with Manfred Laubichler, and a fellow in Joshua Epstein’s Center for Advanced Modeling at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. Before that, I worked with Kim Sterelny and Lindell Bromham at the Australian National University.
My research focuses on how the structure of complex evolved systems affects the way they change over time. This work spans a number of issues, including novelty, evolvability, and the various evolutionary changes such as the evolution of multicellularity and the origin of life. My approach includes philosophical analysis combined with model-building and formal analysis.
I also write phylogenetic software for evolutionary biologists in collaboration with Robert Lanfear. Our PartitionFinder software is used in a number of large phylogenetic projects, such as the 1Kite, which has constructed a phylogeny of insect orders using all expressed genes across more than 1,000 insect species.