Associate Professor Minh Bui

PhD (University of Vienna, Austria, 2009); MSc (University of Freiburg, German, 2005); BSc (Vietnam National University, 2001)
Associate Professor
ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics
T: Office Hours: Monday noon-1pm

Areas of expertise

  • Phylogeny And Comparative Analysis 060309
  • Molecular Evolution 060409
  • Bioinformatics Software 080301
  • Distributed Computing 0805

Research interests

My research focuses on efficient bioinformatics methods, statistical models, algorithms and high performance computing techniques for phylogenetic inference from ultra-large genomic data. 

More details on my lab website:


I obtained B.Sc. in Computer Science from Vietnam National University in 2001; M.Sc. in Applied Computer Sience from University of Freiburg (Germany) in 2005; Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from University of Vienna (Austria) in 2009. I had several postdoc positions in Vienna at Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Gregor Mendel Institute and University of Vienna. From 2018 I am a Research Fellow at the Research School of Biology, Australian National University Canberra. In 2019 I joint the Research School of Computer science (ANU) as a Lecturer.

I was recently named the Field Leader in Evolutionary Biology by The Australian.

Researcher's projects

Research Theme 1: Bioinformatics method and software for evolutionary biology 

I have developed three widely used bioinformatics methods for the phylogenetic community: a fast and accurate model selection approach (ModelFinder), an effective tree reconstruction method (IQ-TREE) and a novel ultrafast bootstrap approach (UFBoot). These methods represent three key steps in every phylogenetic analysis.

A significant outcome from this research theme is the widely used IQ-TREE phylogenetic software (, which I have continuously developed since 2011. IQ-TREE has received a lot of user enthusiasms and integrated in many phylogenetic pipelines. Currently, I am leading an international team from Austria, Australia and Vietnam to jointly develop IQ-TREE.

Research Theme 2: Statistical models for phylogenomics 

Driven by the rapid growth of large phylogenomic datasets coupled with increasing impact of model violation, I jointly developed many new statistical models for phylogenomics including partition models, polymorphism-aware models, distribution free models, mixture models and site-specific models. These advanced models have been implemented in IQ-TREE, representing the first time availability in a prominent maximum likelihood framework.

Research Theme 3: Phylogenetic applications 

Applications play an important role in my search, not only to show the usefulness of bioinformatics methods but also to identify potential limitations of existing models. Hence, I have collaborated with many biologists to analyse empirical datasets ranging from virus to bacteria and eukaryotes. Such collaborations include: the origin of photosynthetic enzymes, deep insect phylogeny using transcriptomic data, origin of helizoan protists, Algae and Cryptista using phylogenomic data, HIV full-genome phylogeny.

Research Theme 4: Efficient algorithms for biodiversity optimisation 

During my PhD study I introduced efficient algorithms for many biodiversity conservation questions such as: Which species/areas should we prioritise for conservation, such that the phylogenetic diversity conserved is maximised? How to measure biodiversity when evolution is not treelike? The algorithms that I developed range from greedy algorithm to dynamic programming and integer linear programming. Especially the last technique generally works for extended conservation problems under budget constraint or prey-predator interactions.

Available student projects

I have several open projects for Graduate, Honours and PhD students. For details see my research themes above. Please send me a motivation letter, why you think you would be suitable, and I am happy discuss further.

Current student projects

I am co-supervising Suha Naser-Khdour (with A/Prof. Rob Lanfear) to study the impact of model violations in phylogenetics.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  14 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers