Contact No.: +65 6601-3356
Dr Piel did his undergraduate degree in Biology at Cornell University and completed his PhD at Harvard University studying the systematics of spiders. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, Dr Piel was a lecturer and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University (1997-1998) and Leiden University (1999-2001), then Research Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo (2002-2006), and later Director of Informatics at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University. Dr Piel created, and continues to manage, an online research tool called TreeBASE, a database of phylogenetic knowledge.
Dr Piel studies how the growth of phylogenetic knowledge impacts biological questions. His research spans the bioinformatics of assembling and organising phylogenetic data, the visualisation and synthesis of this knowledge, and the analysis of key biological questions in a phylogenetic context. A current research interest for Dr Piel is the evolutionary convergence of key adaptations in orb-weaving spiders and pitcher plants.
Piel has published over 30 papers in the fields of arachnology, phylogenetics, and bioinformatics. The following is a sample of papers that have appeared since joining Yale-NUS College.
Lamanna, C. et al. 2014. “Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient”. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 111(38): 13745-13750.
Oliver, J. C. et al. 2014. “Nymphalid eyespot serial homologs originate as a few individualized modules”. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 281: 20133262.
Lyubetsky, V., W. H. Piel, and D. Quandt. 2014. “Current Advances in Molecular Phylogenetics”. BioMed Research International, 2014(596746): 2.
Boyle, B. et al. 2013. “The taxonomic name resolution service: an online tool for automated standardization of plant names”. BMC Bioinformatics, 14(16).
Uhen, M. et al. 2012. “From card catalogs to computers: databases in vertebrate paleontology”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(1): 13-28.
Oliver, J. C. et al. 2012. “A single origin for nymphalid butterfly eyespots followed by widespread loss of associated gene expression”. PLoS Genetics, 8(8): e1002893.