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Claudia Bank

I study evolution – and in particular, the population genetics of adaptation and speciation – at the interface of theoretical and empirical biology. The approaches I use involve theoretical modeling, computational methods, and statistical data analysis.

Coming from an undergraduate (combined Bachelor and Master’s) background in mathematics and physics, I discovered my passion for evolution through biophysics and biomathematics classes. This led me to pursue a PhD in the framework of the “Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics” under the supervision of Joachim Hermisson, during which I developed speciation models. As part of my PhD studies, I spent a semester abroad in Mark Kirkpatrick’s lab at UT Austin. To continue my transition into biology after my PhD, I decided that it was time to get my hands on empirical data, which is why I joined Jeff Jensen’s lab at the EPFL as a postdoc. In particular, this gave me the chance to apply my modeling expertise to experimental-evolution data collected in Dan Bolon’s lab at UMass. In 2014, I spent one semester at UC Berkeley as a Simons Fellow in the program “Evolutionary Biology and the Theory of Computing”. Since January 2016, I have been heading the Evolutionary Dynamics lab at the Gulbenkian Institute.

Hybrid Speciation: When Two Species Become Three

In the light of numerous recent reports of rapid extinction of animal and plant species on our planet, it is critical to understand the dynamics of speciation — that is, how species are formed and maintained. Many scenarios of speciation […]