I am a biologist by training but have worked in bioinformatics since 1997. I’ve programmed computers for a lot longer; anecdotally, of the first programs I wrote (in BASIC, of course) that I remember, one was simulating inheritance of the major blood groups, and another one was Wa-Tor (A.K. Dewdney (1984) Sharks and fish wage an ecological war on the toroidal planet Wa-Tor, Scientific American). I still remember watching in anguish how the fish went almost extinct from the predation pressure, only to resurge from a ‘population bottleneck’ as the sharks started dying off in large numbers due to starvation once they ate up all the fish. The art was to set the breeding and survival parameters such that neither of the two would ever go completely extinct. (Try yourself, for example using Larry Leinweber’s very nice Java Applet.)
I have been a long-time advocate of free and open source software, and I care about open development and community collaboration. I have been a BioPerl developer since 2000, and am the main developer of the BioSQL and Bioperl-db projects. I have also served on the Board of Directors of the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) since 2001.
I am generally interested in using the art of computer programming to help understand biology, and at present more specifically in all things phyloinformatics. Currently I work at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in the Center’s Informatics program, which puts me in the lucky position of being paid for what I love doing.
You can locate most of my activities by googling me (though it remains interesting which links make it to the top). Oh – yes, you need my name for that.
About this Blog
As many of the things I am working with and that I’ll be writing about, this blog will evolve. Rather than what exactly it is going to be about, what I can say are a few things about what it won’t be:
- I won’t be reviewing other blogs, or write a meta-blog. Frankly, I don’t see the point of doing (or reading) that.
- I won’t be dispensing tips or advice for how best to do certain things. There are many blogs out there that are incredibly resourceful in this regard, and I rarely ever have anything to add to those. More importantly, TIMTOWTDI.
Other than that, most of what you will find will be about what I am interested in.
All views and opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author, and not necessarily those of my or anyone else’s employer. The mention of technologies, programs, or approaches, does not imply endorsement of those by my or someone else’s employer, or by a funding agency.
All content on this site is © The Author and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.