Edward Braun is broadly interested in the evolution of genomes and organisms. Specific research interests include: Comparative genomics and molecular evolution Phylogenetics and systematics, Patterns of gene duplication and gene loss, and Phylogenetic theory. His current research emphasizes the use of computational and mathematical approaches to understand evolution at various levels ranging from genes to whole organisms. His teaching foci are genetics and genomics. His graduate teaching has focused on phylogenetic comparative methods, phylogenomics, and molecular evolution.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (5)
Genomics (Vertebrates, Especially Birds and Reptiles)
Media Appearances (2)
Out of Australia
UF News online
UF professors of biology Edward Braun and Rebecca Kimball were part of a large team led by researchers at Louisiana State University that proved all passerines originated in Australia. That sweet Carolina wren at your feeder actually has a long-lost daddy, 47 million years ago or so, in the land Down Under.
Decoding the tree of life: UF geneticist contributes to groundbreaking study of bird evolution
UF News online
Edward Braun, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Florida and the UF Genetics Institute, is one of the key scientists who took part in this multi-year project that used nine supercomputers and 400 years of combined computing time to sequence 48 bird genomes representing the 10,500 living species of birds on the planet.
Complete vertebrate mitogenomes reveal widespread repeats and gene duplicationsGenome Biology
Modern sequencing technologies should make the assembly of the relatively small mitochondrial genomes an easy undertaking. However, few tools exist that address mitochondrial assembly directly.
The Roles of Protein Structure, Taxon Sampling, and Model Complexity in Phylogenomics: A Case Study Focused on Early Animal DivergencesBiophysica
Despite the long history of using protein sequences to infer the tree of life, the potential for different parts of protein structures to retain historical signal remains unclear. We propose that it might be possible to improve analyses of phylogenomic datasets by incorporating information about protein structure. We test this idea using the position of the root of Metazoa (animals) as a model system. We examined the distribution of “strongly decisive” sites (alignment positions that support a specific tree topology) in a dataset comprising >1500 proteins and almost 100 taxa.
A phylogenomic supermatrix of Galliformes (Landfowl) reveals biased branch lengthsMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Building taxon-rich phylogenies is foundational for macroevolutionary studies. One approach to improve taxon sampling beyond individual studies is to build supermatricies of publicly available data, incorporating taxa sampled across different studies and utilizing different loci. Most existing supermatrix studies have focused on loci commonly sequenced with Sanger technology (“legacy” markers, such as mitochondrial data and small numbers of nuclear loci). However, incorporating phylogenomic studies into supermatrices allows problem nodes to be targeted and resolved with considerable amounts of data, while improving taxon sampling with legacy data.
Data Types and the Phylogeny of NeoavesBirds
Some of the earliest studies using molecular data to resolve evolutionary history separated birds into three main groups: Paleognathae (ostriches and allies), Galloanseres (ducks and chickens), and Neoaves (the remaining ~95% of avian species). The early evolution of Neoaves, however, has remained challenging to understand, even as data from whole genomes have become available. We have recently proposed that some of the conflicts among recent studies may be due to the type of genomic data that is analyzed (regions that code for proteins versus regions that do not).
Phylogenomics of manakins (Aves: Pipridae) using alternative locus filtering strategies based on informativenessMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Target capture sequencing effectively generates molecular marker arrays useful for molecular systematics. These extensive data sets are advantageous where previous studies using a few loci have failed to resolve relationships confidently. Moreover, target capture is well-suited to fragmented source DNA, allowing data collection from species that lack fresh tissues. Herein we use target capture to generate data for a phylogeny of the avian family Pipridae (manakins), a group that has been the subject of many behavioral and ecological studies.