Dr. Tracy A Heath

Assistant Professor

My research seeks to understand how evolutionary forces have produced the patterns of biodiversity we observe in the Tree of Life. I am intensely motivated by the wide array of evolutionary questions that can be addressed with complex, biologically-realistic models of evolution applied to molecular, morphological, and paleontological data. Because of this, my research program focuses on developing and applying computational methods for understanding evolutionary processes in a phylogenetic context. My primary approach to developing phylogenetic tools is to apply new statistical models as priors using Bayesian inference methods. In particular, I am a developer for RevBayes, a software program for Bayesian inference of evolutionary parameters including (but not limited to) phylogeny, divergence times, rates of character evolution, population dynamics, rates of selection across a genome, and patterns of species diversification.

Area of Expertise: 
Statistical Phylogenetics
Molecular Evolution
B.A., Biology, Boston University, 2000
Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Texas at Austin, 2008