Dr Xia Hua

Ph. D., Stony Brook University
Lecturer
ANU College of Science
T: +61 2 6125 9773

Areas of expertise

  • Biological Mathematics 010202
  • Biostatistics 010402

Research interests

I am interested in the fundamental rules of evolutionary processes, using biological evolution and language evolution as two study systems. Current research question is how changes at population level build up to patterns observed among lineages. This question links population genetics and phylogenetics, and links social linguistics and historical linguistics. In general, I develop models and methods in inferring evolutionary processes from different data types. I'm also collaborating on using chemical evolution to reconstruct the formation of the galaxy.

Available student projects are:

  • New generation of molecular dating: molecular dating uses mutations in DNA to date the tree of life. Existing molecular dating only uses fossil to calibrate time. The new generation of molecular dating will use species traits to calibrate mutation rate.
  • Deep coalescence problem: deep coalescence is when genes are not completely sorted before the speciation event. This causes conflicts between species divergence time and gene divergence time. The project will develop efficient method to solve deep coalescence problem.
  • Identifying speciation genes: speciation genes are the genes that make two species not able to reproduce offspring. The project will use coalescent theory and birth death model to identify speciation genes from its evolutionaty history.
  • Heterogeneous continuous-time random walks: model species dispersal over heterogeneous landscape, while allowing individuals to have different birth rate and death rate. The solution allows us to reconstruct species responses to past climate change.

 

Researcher's projects

  • DE19: Developing methods to link microevolutionary rate to macroevolutionary pattern: understanding how fixation of mutations at population level leads to genetic distinctiveness among species and how the generation of new species leads to observed patterns in biodiversity over long timescale.
  • DP19: Developing the fourth generation of methods for molecular dating: use allometry to inform variation in the rate of molecular evolution across lineages.
  • Pilot study for DP21: Developing methods to simultaneously infer niche evolution and ancestral species distribution. 

Available student projects

  • New generation of molecular dating: molecular dating uses mutations in DNA to date the tree of life. Existing molecular dating only uses fossil to calibrate time. The new generation of molecular dating will use species traits to calibrate mutation rate.
  • Deep coalescence problem: deep coalescence is when genes are not completely sorted before the speciation event. This causes conflicts between species divergence time and gene divergence time. The project will develop efficient method to solve deep coalescence problem.
  • Identifying speciation genes: speciation genes are the genes that make two species not able to reproduce offspring. The project will use coalescent theory and birth death model to identify speciation genes from its evolutionaty history.
  • Heterogeneous continuous-time random walks: model species dispersal over heterogeneous landscape, while allowing individuals to have different birth rate and death rate. The solution allows us to reconstruct species responses to past climate change.

Publications

Projects and Grants

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

Return to top

Updated:  24 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers