Deep Six is an ambitious project recently funded through the NSF biocomplexity program over 5 years (2002-2007). The thrust of this research is four-fold:
(1) Develop novel phylogenetic markers for inferring phylogeny at deep levels across all insects and hexapods. This will be accomplished via large-scale cDNA library screening in collaboration with Alfried Vogler at the British Museum.
(2) Sequence these markers for ~2500 hexapod taxa representing every hexapod family, with multiple representatives of the larger groups. This requires us to go throughout the world and collect a wide diversity of insects for DNA analysis. See where we have been by clicking here.
(3) Sequence the entire mitochondrial genome of ~100 insect taxa, representing every hexapod order in order to understand the evolution of the mt in light of our massive phylogeny. This research is being spearheaded by a postdoctoral researcher, Stephen Cameron.
(4) Develop novel tools for phylogenetic analysis which allow parallel computation through the use of serial computers linked via the internet. These tools are being developed through collaboration with computer scientists and statisticians at BYU. Computational Phylogenomics Research group