What we do

What we do

Diversity is a ubiquitous feature of biological systems from the scale of the molecule to the mighty rainforest. Its accurate assessment is fundamental to such varied problems as selecting the most efficacious vaccines to the prioritisation of biodiversity in conservaion management.

We are interested in any kind of diversity, ranging from traditional measures of biodiversity to taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic / genomic, and phenotypic diversity. Our interests are varied and range from analyses of viral antigenic diversity and antimicrobial resistance to animal breeding and conservation of genetic diversity.

We are also interested in issues that have often been considered to be relatively distinct from diversity in the past such as positive selection and linkage disequilibiurm, which we believe to be related concepts. 

A number of us work on a framework of diversity measures that was developed to consider not only the relative abundance of types, but also the differences between them. These measures are generalisations of recently developed similarity-sensitive measures which are in turn a generalisation of traditional descriptors such as species richness, Simpson's index, Shannon entropy, and Hill numbers.

Application of these measures expose interesting features associated with subcommunity structure, such as contribution to supercommunity diversity, redundancy, concentration, representativeness, and the number of distinct communities present.