He is interested in the evolution of biological complexity. His group uses a mix of computational modelling and bioinformatics to study the evolutionary dynamics of replicating molecules and bacterial genomes. The questions his group is currently interested in include:
- Why have similar divisions of labour repeatedly evolved across many levels of the biological hierarchy—e.g., between genomes and enzymes in cells, between germline and soma cells in multicellular organisms, between queens and workers in eusocial insects, where genomes, germline cells and queens transmit genetic information, whereas enzymes, soma cells and workers utilize that information?
- How do bacterial genomes accumulate information through horizontal gene transfer mediated by mobile genetic elements, such as viruses and plasmids?
- Why are archaea not pathogenic?
- How can primitive replicating molecules evolve into modern-type cells?
- How did viruses originate?