I am interested in microbial genome evolution, in particular, in inferring population genetic processes in microorganisms from genomic and metagenomic data. I focus on the interaction of phages and bacteria and the consequences of this interaction on phage genome evolution. I am interested in understanding how different evolutionary processes (mutation, recombination, and horizontal gene transfer) contribute to the evolution of phages and also other viruses.
After a study in bioinformatics, I pursued a PhD in the field of method development for phylogenetics under the supervision of Arndt von Haeseler at the University of Vienna. Subsequently, I focused on applying my bioinformatics skills to bacterial and phage evolutionary genomics. I investigated the evolution of the CRISPR system as a post-doctoral scientist in the group of Jon Bollback at IST Austria. In the group of Tal Dagan at Kiel University, I studied evolutionary rates of phages, insertions and deletions in the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the strain diversity of symbionts. Currently, I am an assistant professor in the Bioinformatics Group at Wageningen University.