'Dated-tip' methods of molecular dating use DNA sequences sampled at different times, to estimate the age of their most recent common ancestor. Several tests of 'temporal signal' are available to determine whether data sets are suitable for such analysis. However, it remains unclear whether these tests are reliable.We investigate the performance of several… (More)
Genome sequencing is revolutionizing clinical microbiology and our understanding of infectious diseases. Previous studies have largely relied on the sequencing of a single isolate from each individual. However, it is not clear what degree of bacterial diversity exists within, and is transmitted between individuals. Understanding this 'cloud of diversity' is… (More)
Viral suppressors of RNAi (VSRs) are proteins that actively inhibit the antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) immune response, providing an immune evasion route for viruses. It has been hypothesized that VSRs are engaged in a molecular 'arms race' with RNAi pathway genes. Two lines of evidence support this. First, VSRs from plant viruses display high sequence… (More)
Many individual hosts are infected with multiple parasite species, and this may increase or decrease the pathogenicity of the infections. This phenomenon is termed heterologous reactivity and is potentially an important determinant of both patterns of morbidity and mortality and of the impact of disease control measures at the population level. Using… (More)
Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria whose hosts and transmission strategies are both impressively diverse, and this is reflected in a highly dynamic genome. Some previous studies have described the evolutionary history of Rickettsia as non-tree-like, due to incongruity between phylogenetic reconstructions using different portions of the genome.… (More)
Metagenomic studies are leading to the discovery of a hidden diversity of RNA viruses. These new viruses are poorly characterized and new approaches are needed predict the host species these viruses pose a risk to. The rhabdoviruses are a diverse family of RNA viruses that includes important pathogens of humans, animals, and plants. We have discovered… (More)
My work addresses topics in epistemology, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence that, in one way or another, involve judgment and decision making performed under conditions of uncertainty.