Jeet Sukumaran



My name is Jeet Sukumaran.

I am a computational evolutionary biologist. I develop methods, models, statistics, and software to study the processes by which life changes, moves, and interacts across time and space. By modeling some of the processes that have given rise to the patterns of life on this planet, I seek to understand not only how life has been structured by these processes, but also understand how these processes themselves work. While I am broadly interested in questions in evolutionary biology, I have a special interest in questions that incorporate biogeographical, phylogeographical, or phylogenetic perspectives.

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate working with L. Lacey Knowles at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. I am developing simulations and analytical methods to study trait-dependent dispersal-based biogeography in island systems, with a focus on exploring and testing components of E. O. Wilson’s taxon-cycle theory in a rigorous statistical model-selection framework.

I spend a lot of time programming (mostly in Python, C/C++, and R; though I also work with a wide variety of other languages, technologies and platforms). I have a background in herpetology (Southeast Asian herpetological phylogenetics and biogeography in particular), and this often serves as the motivating framework or a typical “use-case scenario” for some of my research into methods and theory.

Being now associated with the more theoretical/computational/statistical side of things, I miss the fieldwork that used to dominate my professional and personal life previously, when I used to spend fascinating nights deep in the Malaysian rainforests, looking for frogs, snakes, and lizards. I still try and get out to the great outdoors as much as possible, but now photography is my primary activity in the wilderness rather than research.

On this site, you can find my my blog, with posts generally related to computing including some smaller programs and scripts (too small for full-release on GitHub). Some of my publications are also listed here, while my (more or less) current curriculum vitae is available for download here.

I am committed to open-source development, and share most of my code on GitHub. I have a passion for the wilderness and nature photography, and some of my photographs can be seen on my photography site. I can also be found on Facebook and Google+.