Button to scroll to the top of the page.

Claus O Wilke

Department of Integrative Biology, Department of Statistics and Data Sciences

Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professorship in Molecular Evolution (Holder)

Computational evolutionary biology, Molecular evolution, Virus evolution.


Phone: 512-232-2459

Office Location
MBB 3.232

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Claus O. Wilke holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and he is currently the Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professor in Molecular Evolution at The University of Texas at Austin. Wilke has published nearly 200 scientific publications covering topics in computational biology, molecular evolution, protein biochemistry, and virology. He has also authored several popular R packages used for data visualization, such as cowplot and ggridges, and he is a contributor to the package ggplot2. In 2019, Wilke published the book Fundamentals of Data Visualization, which provides a concise introduction to effectively visualizing many different types of data sets.

Lab website: https://wilkelab.org

Personal website: https://clauswilke.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clauswilke 

The Wilke lab carries out research in computational evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, and biostatistics. All our research is theoretical or computational, but we frequently collaborate with experimental groups. Much of our research focuses on molecular evolution, in particular on (i) the evolution of viruses and (ii) biophysical mechanisms of protein evolution. Other areas of interest are systems biology, bacterial physiology, and metabolic modeling.

Selected Publications

  • J. R. Houser, C. Barnhart, D. R. Boutz, S. M. Carroll, A. Dasgupta, J. K. Michener, B. D. Needham, O. Papoulas, V. Sridhara, D. K. Sydykova, C. J. Marx, M. S. Trent, J. E. Barrick, E. M. Marcotte, C. O. Wilke (2015). Controlled measurement and comparative analysis of cellular components in E. coli reveals broad regulatory changes under long-term starvation. PLOS Comput. Biol. 11:e1004400.
  • A. G. Meyer, C. O. Wilke (2015). Geometric constraints dominate the antigenic evolution of influenza H3N2 hemagglutinin. PLOS Pathogens 11:e1004940.
  • A. W. Covert, R. E. Lenski, C. O. Wilke, and C. Ofria (2013). Experiments on the role of deleterious mutations as stepping stones in adaptive evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110:E3171-E3178.
  • J. J. Bull, I. J. Molineux, and C. O. Wilke (2012). Slow fitness recovery in a codon-modified viral genome. Mol. Biol. Evol. 29:2997-3004.
  • W. Gu, T. Zhou, and C. O. Wilke (2010). A universal trend of reduced mRNA stability near the translation-initiation site in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. PLoS Comput. Biol. 6:e1000664.
  • D. A. Drummond and C. O. Wilke (2008). Mistranslation-induced protein misfolding as a dominant constraint on coding-sequence evolution. Cell 134:341-352.
  • I. M. Rouzine, É. Brunet, and C. O. Wilke (2008). The traveling-wave approach to asexual evolution: Muller's ratchet and speed of adaptation. Theor. Popul. Biol. 73:24-46.
  • D. A. Drummond, A. Raval, and C. O. Wilke (2006). A single determinant dominates the rate of yeast protein evolution. Mol. Biol. Evol. 23:327-337.
  • C. O. Wilke, J. L. Wang, C. Ofria, R. E. Lenski, and C. Adami (2001). Evolution of digital organisms at high mutation rate leads to survival of the flattest. Nature 412:331-333.

For a complete publication list, click here.

2013 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow
2011 Recognized as Leading Texas Innovator by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST)
2010 Teaching Excellence Award, College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin
1999 Ph.D. in Physics with Highest Honors ("Ausgezeichnet"), University of Bochum
1996 Ruth and Gerd Massenberg award for Excellence in Physics (University of Bochum)