Presently, at EI, Mark works on the population genomics of the Ash Dieback pathogen, combining both bioinformatics and population biology to understand the processes that underlie the invasion and spread of this pathogen across Europe.
Mark is also using the recent domestication of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) from sea beet (subs. maritima) to understand the role of wild hosts as pathogen reservoirs for agricultural invasion.
Prior to this Mark worked on an ERC funded project with Jonathan Jones at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) where he contributed to the population genomic analyses of Albugo candida and A. laibachii. This post at TSL began directly after an ELSA funded Senior Research Associate position (University of East Anglia) where he was involved in the population genetics/genomics of four other systems including Antarctic diatoms (Thomas Mock), Arabidopsis thaliana (Caroline Dean), Primula species (Phil Gilmartin) and guppies (Cock van Oosterhout).
The overarching focus of Mark's projects continues to be to apply population genetic approaches to genomes to better understand adaptive evolution. He maintains a special focus on the relative contribution of the five-evolutionary forces and the role of hybridisation and introgression to host-pathogen co-evolution.
Mark also contributes to the UEA Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions module as a guest lecturer. To find out more about Mark's research, read his blog post on Sex Between Crop Pathogens.