Research

My research group addresses fundamental questions in contemporary genomics: the study of an organism's entire complement of DNA. The ability to integrate new genetic technologies with sophisticated computational analysis remains a key bottleneck in advancing the biological sciences. My research group leverages national and international connections to address outstanding biological questions at the interface of genomics, computer science and statistics.

I am particularly interested in modeling genome dynamics — firstly, establishing how genetic variation is distributed within and between individuals, and secondly, determining how this diversity changes over evolutionary time.

My work draws heavily on genetics with a solid foundation in biochemistry, statistics, computer science and anthropology. I design and implement novel algorithms and statistics, largely in the fields of coalescent theory, demographic inference and systems biology. These tools are currently being applied to several ongoing projects, including i) reconstructing human prehistory in the Pacific region, ii) determining the evolution of gene regulation, and iii) developing new methods for demographic inference. These projects typically utilize the latest high-throughput technologies.

More broadly, I am interested in the interface between biology, statistics and computer science, especially where large genetic datasets can be applied to address questions of outstanding biological importance.

Murray Cox


Hear how we're using genomics to study human health and history through an interview on Radio New Zealand.

Learn what it means to be a computational biologist (Radio New Zealand).

Or hear me talk about the settlement of Madagascar on BBC World.

Or the settlement of the Pacific (Radio New Zealand).

2015-Present Professor of Computational Biology Institute of Fundamental Sciences
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
2017-2018 Humboldt Fellow Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung)
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPG-EVA), Leipzig, Germany
2016 ACU Titular Fellow Association of Commonwealth Universities Titular Fellow
St John's College, University of Oxford, UK
2015-Present Associate Investigator Te Pūnaha Matatini (Complex Systems Institute)
2013-2015 Associate Professor Institute of Fundamental Sciences
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
2013-2015 Associate Investigator Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution
2012-Present Principal Investigator Bio-Protection Research Centre
2011-2017 Inaugural Rutherford Fellow Royal Society of New Zealand
2011-2012 Senior Lecturer Institute of Molecular BioSciences
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
2009-2011 Research Scientist Institute of Molecular BioSciences
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
2005-2009 Postdoctoral Associate Arizona Research Laboratories
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
2007-2008 Adjunct Postdoctoral Associate Santa Fe Institute for Complexity Research
Santa Fe, NM, USA
2004-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies
Department of Biological Anthropology
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
2003 Lecturer School of Science and Veterinary Nursing
Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
2002-2003 Visiting Research Scholar Biology Institute (Biologisk Institutt)
University of Oslo (Universitet i Oslo), Oslo, Norway
2000-2003 Ph.D.
Genetics
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
1996-1999 B.Sc. (Honours)
First Class in Biochemistry
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Funders


Humboldt Foundation       ACU       St John's       MOE       ANR

Rutherford       RSNZ       Marsden       TEC       BioProtection