About the Author
Professor Townsend received his Ph.D. in 2002 in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University. His Ph.D. was entitled "Population genetic variation in genome-wide gene expression: modeling, measurement, and analysis", and constituted the first population genetic analysis of genome-wide gene expression variation. After making use of the model budding yeast S. cerevisiae for his Ph.D. research, Dr. Townsend accepted an appointment as a Miller Fellow at the University of California-Berkeley in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, where he worked to develop molecular tools, techniques, and analysis methodologies for functional genomics studies with the filamentous fungal model species Neurospora crassa, co-advised by Berkeley fungal evolutionary biologist John Taylor and molecular mycologist Louise Glass. In 2004, he accepted his first appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut. In 2006 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and in 2013 he was appointed as an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Yale School of Public Health. Zheng Wang is Research Scientist at the Department of Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University. After completing a PhD at the Clark University in 2006, he held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa. He joined Yale University in 2007, and held a post-doctoral association position at the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. He is an expert on fungal taxonomy, especially classification and taxonomy of the Leotiomycetes, Pezizomycetes, Geoglossomycetes, and wood decay polypores. He is also one of the leading authors in the Assembling the Fungal Tree of Life project. His research is in the field of fungal systematics, fungal evolutionary biology, and fungal genetics and genomics, using field and laboratory experiments with model species and comparative genomics/transcriptomics to understand the effects of natural selection and evolution and development of sexual/asexual reproduction in fungi. In particular, it focuses on the how fungi respond to environmental factors during different stages of their life history. He has served as a reviewer for 34 scientific journals, including all major mycological journals. He has held several editorial appointments, including associate editor of Mycosystema and Mycology, review editor of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.