In 2013, Kevin graduated from the ANU with honours in a research-oriented science degree. His honours thesis was entitled “Gene expression variation under dynamic growth conditions in Arabidopsis thaliana”, and involved development of novel growth environments, and an RNAseq study examining plant growth under such conditions. In 2015, he commenced a PhD in the Borevitz lab. His project title is “Novel algorithms for population-scale analysis of plant genomes”.
Current projects and associated grants:
My thesis is focused on improving the analysis software used in plant population genomics, particularly in very large population studies. As part of my PhD, I’m working on:
- My new tool, kWIP: The k-mer Weighted Inner Product, a novel de-novo, alignment free way of calculating kinship between samples from next-gen sequencing reads.
- GBS analysis tools, working with the Genome Discovery Unit
Kevin’s honours project was titled “Genetic variation in gene expression under dynamic light in Arabidopsis thaliana.” His work was based upon the well known notion that plants are dependent on light for growth but are sensitive to excess light. As a result, his research focussed on the plant response to excess light, by mimicing environmental conditions present in the Arabidopsis habitat. Kevin accounted for the dynamic light and temperature conditions that occur in field environments by developing a coding pipeline to run in the SpectralPhenoClimatron. By running experiments in different simulated field conditions, Kevin was able to examine the variation in gene expression within natural populations of Arabidopsis. This will identify gene expression networks controlling excess light response with relevance to those under selection in field conditions.
Kevin was employed as a bioinformatician in 2013 and 2014, working with Tim Brown and Norman Warthmann on sequence and image analysis software development.
Kevin’s ORCiD is: 0000-0002-2466-1917