My research program involves questions, techniques and theory covering divergent components of evolution and biodiversity science by means of bioinformatics. One of my current projects can be best described as Multi-species Population Genetics/Genomics utilizing high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of taxon assemblages to test hypotheses relating to regional patterns of demographic stability, isolation, and admixture. This approach allows us to develop multi-taxa population genomic models to understand community assembly, colonization, and vicariance based on population-level sequencing data collected across entire taxonomic assemblages.
Another line of my research uses large data sets generated by HTS to address current challenges in Species Distribution Modelling using extended matrix regression models (e.g. generalized dissimilarity modelling) to analyse and predict spatial patterns of turnover in community composition. I am using data generated for two large-scale arthropod sampling programs (55 Provincial Parks in Ontario and agricultural sites in Ontario in collaboration with OMAFRA and the ALUS network) to predict spatial diversity and to combine metabarcoding results with ancillary information, such as trait data, to develop process-based models that can identify the functional composition at any location.
Dirk's University of Guelph page:https://www.uoguelph.ca/ib/steinke