Dr Mary J O’Connell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Comparative and Molecular Evolution at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her laboratory is focussed on uncovering the molecular mechanisms that underpin changes in phenotype and function. Her work is computational in nature and involves close collaboration with field, molecular and cellular biologists. She develops and applies phylogenomic and comparative genomic approaches to uncover patterns and processes of evolution that underpin phenotypic diversity and adaptation. This involves sampling, sequencing, assembling and annotating genomes of diverse species, followed by the large scale comparative genomics involved in understanding the evolution and adaptation of species to their environments, from to seals and caecilia.