I’m Vince Buffalo, a Ph.D. candidate in Graham Coop‘s lab studying evolutionary and population genetics at UC Davis in the Center for Population Biology. Previously, I worked as a bioinformatician at the UC Davis Genome Center and in the Dubcovsky and Ross-Ibarra labs. I wrote Bioinformatics Data Skills published by O’Reilly Media in July 2015.

# The blind play of genes

I named my blog “the blind play of genes” after a sentence in G.C. Williams’ Adaptation and Natural Selection:

The opposition [to natural selection] arises, as Darwin himself observed, not from what reason dictates but from the limits of what the imagination can accept. It is difficult for many people to imagine that an individual’s role in evolution is entirely contained in its contribution to vital statistics. It is difficult to imagine that an acceptable moral order could arise from vital statistics, and difficult to dispense with belief in a moral order in living nature. It is difficult to imagine that the blind play of genes could produce man.
G.C. Williams, Adaptation and natural Selection, p. 3-4
Photograph of Vince Buffalo

# Contact

You can contact me at the following email address with the poly-A tail removed (as an anti-spam measure): vsbuffaloAAAAA@gmail.com.

You can also find me on Twitter and Github.

# Curriculum Vitae Summary


Ph.D. in Population Genetics, UC Davis, expected 2018

B.A. in Economics and Political Science, UC Davis, 2009
Minor in Statistics
Phi Beta Kappa, Dean’s List, Departmental Citation in Economics


Bioinformatics Data Skills: Reproducible and Robust Research with Open Source Tools, O’Reilly Media, July 2015

Fellowships and Awards

2014 - NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
2013 - NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Honorable Mention
2013 - UC Davis Graduate Scholars Fellowship

Professional Research Experience
Staff Computational Biologist, Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra Lab ─ 9/2013 to 9/2014

UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences Research projects: investigating genetic load in wild outcrossing teosinte populations with next-generation sequencing and GBS; development of imputation, phasing, and identification of rare alleles statistical genetics methods; short-read aligner assessment in highly paralogous genomes.

Bioinformatician, Jorge Dubcovsky Lab ─ 7/2013 to 9/2013

Research projects: developing novel software to extend single-individual haplotyping methods to phase homeologs in tetraploid wheat transcriptome data, development of a robust and sensitive RNA-seq bioinformatics protocol in tetraploid wheat.

Lead Statistical Programmer, Bioinformatics Core ─ 9/2009 to 7/2013

Research projects: developing next-generation sequencing quality pipeline, applying machine learning approaches (elastic net, lasso, sparse PCA) to RNA-seq expression data, RNA-seq statistical analysis, developed novel software to identify chromosomal translocations in post-chemotherapy patients using next-generation data.