Postgraduate Research & Training

Student Profiles

During the period 2013-15, BioSS supervised 11 PhD students, registered at the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and York, Heriot-Watt University, and Universiti Putra Malaysia, and linked with organisations ranging from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, to Microsoft Research, Cambridge. Two of these students have written of their experiences below.

Katie Emelianova

Postgrad Katie I am a PhD student currently researching the impacts that gene and genome duplication have on species generation and functional and morphological diversity. The model system I use is the tropical genus Begonia, due to the incredible diversity seen in the almost 2,000 species it comprises.

My studies involve applying Next Generation Sequencing to investigate two closely related but morphologically distinct species of Begonia, using bioinformatics techniques to assess how frequent duplication is in the two species, which functions duplicated genes perform, and how duplicate genes are diverging./p>

BioSS offers a fantastic environment in which to work, with a wealth of knowledge in computational and bioinformatics systems. The support I receive is invaluable in helping me to traverse the intersection of evolutionary and computational biology, where my work often lies. In a broader context, working amongst statisticians in BioSS has exposed me to mathematical and statistical methods, elements of which I have incorporated in my research to the benefit of my PhD.

Adrià Cabellé Mestres

Postgrad Adria I am currently doing a PhD in statistical methods to estimate sparse networks for high-dimensional genomics data. My particular interest is in the study of two measures of multivariate data dependency, the correlation matrix and its inverse, known as the partial correlation matrix, for datasets in which the dimension exceeds the sample size. I am also keen to consider joint partial correlation matrix estimation techniques that are appropriate when we have more than one data set for the same individuals./p>

My PhD is being undertaken jointly in BioSS and the University of Edinburgh, where I have two excellent supervisors, one in each institution. I find that this is the perfect combination for widening my knowledge in theoretical and applied statistics, as well as gaining experience in both teaching and research. BioSS staff members have a very broad range of areas of expertise, which supports my learning of statistical skills that go beyond my current research topic.

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