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Member of Trinity College
PhD student in Dr Ahnert's group
Office: 512 Mott Bld
Phone: +44(0)1223 7 46644
Email: mw636 @ cam.ac.uk
TCM Group, Cavendish Laboratory
19 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge, CB3 0HE UK.
The mapping between biological genotypes and phenotypes fundamentally influences evolution as mutations take place on the level of genotypes, while selection applies on the level of phenotypes. My research focuses on studying the properties of these genotype-phenotype (GP) maps. In general, real biological GP maps are extraordinarily complex and analysing their properties can be a challenging task. For this reason, I primarily work with abstract or computational models of GP maps, in order to draw conclusions on the properties of real biological GP maps.
In Plain English
In biology, the term genotype usually refers to a biological sequence, such as that of DNA, RNA or amino acids, while the term phenotype refers to a characteristic determined by the genotype. For example, the phenotype can be the spatial structure formed by the genotype sequence or a function regulated by it. The mapping from the set of genotypes to the set of all possible phenotypes is described by the so-called genotype-phenotype (GP) map, which can be understood as a mathematical function that assigns a phenotype to each genotype. In my research, I study the properties of GP maps by using mathematical models and tools from statistical physics.