Thank you for visiting!

I am a Ph.D. student in biostatistics at UCLA, working in Marc Suchard's group. Before coming to UCLA, I received my bachelor's degree from Department of Biomedical Engineering at Peking University, China in 2016.

Contact me at: zy.zhang[at]


My research interest is in Bayesian inference and computation with applications to phylogenetics (the study of evolutionary relationships among species, genes, etc). In phylogenetics, the observations are correlated via the shared evolutionary history of individuals and highly complex models are required to control for the underlying phylogenetic tree structure. I enjoy developing efficient inference methods to deal with the computational challenges arising from these tree-involved models. All our works are implemented in the widely used BEAST software.

Phylogenetic tree for 535 HIV viruses.

Large-scale inference of correlation among mixed-type biological traits

We develop a new approach for inferring correlation among binary and continuous biological features, while controlling for the uncertain phylogenetic tree. By a cute linear algebra trick we reduce the complexity of the computational bottleneck from quadratic to linear order in the number of species. arxiv link

Joint work with : Akihiko Nishimura, Xiang Ji, Paul Bastide, Philippe Lemey

Talk at BayesComp 2020, in Gainesville, Florida, January 7-10, 2020

Shennongjia, Hubei Province, China