UAB biologist Robert Thacker, Ph.D., is part of an interdisciplinary team developing a digital Tree of Life that will enable scientists to see the relationships between organisms at a glance.
The project, Arbor: Comparative Analysis Workflows for the Tree of Life, is part of the National Science Foundation’s $13 million Assembling, Visualizing and Analyzing the Tree of Life program, AVAToL. The Arbor team will receive $4 million; $500,000 is dedicated to the work of Thacker, a professor in the UAB Department of Biology, whose focus is symbiosis research in marine invertebrates and sponges. “The idea is that we will be able to accelerate science quickly and easily by sharing data and the way it is analyzed. And that will encourage scientists to try new ideas, find new answers and enhance the quality of research in multiple fields of science,” said Thacker.