Kyle T. David
PhD Candidate in the Halanych Lab at Auburn University

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Research Interests

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    Evolution of Gen(om)e Duplications

    Gene and genome duplication events are important drivers of molecular novelty and adaptation. However these duplications can also be very traumatic on a molecular and cellular level, incurring significant fitness costs. I am interested in exploring how these initial disadvantages to duplication are overcome, as well as how duplication events contribute to animal evolution as a whole.

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    Bioinformatics of Non-models

    High-throughput sequencing is quickly becoming cheaper and easier to use than ever before. In spite of this, most research efforts are concentrated to just a small number of model organisms. I am interested in computational methods which seek to understand non-model genomes, as well as assess how overreliance on models may be biasing current methods. Interests include: gene annotation, homology inference, tree-building, and comparative phylogenetic methods.

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    Marine Invertebrate Phylogenomics

    “Marine Invertebrate” is a term regularly used to refer to a diverse assemblage of animals with representatives from 32 of the 35 commonly recognized animal phyla. Despite containing most of the morphological and phylogenetic diversity within animals, marine invertebrates represent just a small fraction of molecular studies. I am interested in studying evolutionary patterns along these branches on the tree of life which have historically been overlooked.


Tassia, M. G., David, K.T., Townsend, J.P., & Halanych, K.M. (2021). TIAMMAt: Leveraging biodiversity to revise protein domain models, evidence from innate immunity. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

David, K. T. & Halanych, K. M. (2021). Spatial proximity between polyploids across South American frog genera. Journal of Biogeography, 48(5), 991-1000. [Editors' Choice]

Zhang, Y., Yap, K. N., David, K. T., & Swanson, D. L. (2021). The high-energy aerial insectivore lifestyle of swallows does not produce clear thermogenic side effects. Ornithology.

Li, Y.*, David, K. T.*, Shen, X. X., Steenwyk, J. L., Halanych, K. M., Rokas, A. (2020). Feature frequency profile-based phylogenies are inaccurate. PNAS, 117(50), 31580-31581.

David, K. T., Halanych, K. M., Oaks, J. R., (2020). Patterns of gene evolution following duplications and speciations in vertebrates. PeerJ, 8, e8813.

Li, Y., Tassia, M. G., Waits, D. S., Bogantes, V. E., David, K. T., Halanych, K. M. (2019). Genomic adaptations to chemosymbiosis in the deep-sea seep-dwelling tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi. BMC Biology, 17(1), 91.

David, K. T., Wilson, A. E., Halanych, K. M. (2019). Sequencing disparity in the genomic era. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 36(8), 1624-1627. [Featured Cover Article]

David, K. T. & Halanych, K. M. (2017). Mitochondrial genome of Dinophilus gyrociliatus (Annelida: Dinophilidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 2(2), 831-832.

McMahan, C. D., Ginger, L., Cage, M., David, K. T., Chakrabarty, P., Johnston, M., & Matamoros, W. A. (2017). Pleistocene to holocene expansion of the black-belt cichlid in Central America, Vieja maculicauda (Teleostei: Cichlidae). PloS one, 12(5), e0178439.

David, K. T., Tanabe, P., Fieber, L. A. (2016). Resource availability drives mating role selection in a simultaneous hermaphrodite Aplysia californica. The Biological Bulletin, 231(3), 199-206.

*these authors contributed equally to the work