Diversity of eukaryotics is far greater than most people realize. In the Yuanning-Li lab, we are trying to use DNA records to study patterns and process of eukaryotic evolution on different time scales and with different types of genomic information. Combining a molecular systematic and/or genomic approach with information from organismal evolution has proved a powerful approach to study everything from the origin of major eukaryotic lineages (especially for marine invertebrates and fungi) to the recent adaptation to deep-sea chemosynthetic environments. Research in the lab focuses on utilizing computational approaches and genome-scale data to gain insight into molecular phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, comparative genomics, and bioinformatics.
Reconstructing evolutionary history of major eukaryotic groups
Phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relationships. We apply genome-scale data to explore phylogenetic relationships, and develop tools and methods to understand the evolution of complex traits in major eukaryotic groups. We are particularly interested in deep animal and fungi phylogeny, but also work on subgroups of eukaryotes including annelids and non-animal holozoans. I am also involved in the Y1000+ project (http://y1000plus.org) to sequence the genomes from all living species of fungi subphylum Sacchromycotina (budding yeasts) to understand their phylogeny, ecology and biodiversity.