Since 2012 I am Lecturer in Bioinformatics at Queen Mary University London (QMUL). I have two main research streams. The first focuses on developing computational tools for dealing with modern biological data - which is exploding thanks to a 10,000-fold drop in DNA sequencing costs over the past five years! For this I have funding from BBSRC and a Google Summer of Code student. We try to use development and deployment tools and approaches as well as user experience principles commonly used in tech startups. Taking advantage of lessons they have learnt allows us to create biological software with great user experiences and robust easily maintained code (examples below).
My second research approach involves the application of these tools to ant societies. Indeed, extensive theoretical work has explained how and why complex societies evolve. However, only little is known about the genes and molecular mechanisms responsible for social phenotypes. We have been identifying genes and mechanisms involved in the evolution of insect societies using genomics - in particular we recently sequenced the fire ant genome (PNAS 2011) and discovered that a fundamental social trait in this species (how many queens are accepted in the colony) is determined by variants of a social chromosome (Nature 2013).