Tom Hill
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research interests:

I graduated from the University of Reading, UK where my studies focused on evolutionary biology and phylogenetics. Later on, I worked on a project using phylogenies to test for punctuated equilibrium across the tree of life.

My Ph.D. project will involve the study of the evolution of transposable element defence in Drosophila.  It involves the examination of the piRNA defence clusters and their sequence evolution, observing the rates of differentiation across populations. We expect that piRNA defence clusters need to adapt quickly, lending different populations unique piRNAs.

Analysis of the extent of the divergence will be accomplished through the isolation and sequencing of piRNA clusters from individual Drosophila and analysing the divergence in their defence systems between separate populations and the mechanism used to silence transposable element mRNA.