hugo tavares

Bioinformatician & Data Analyst

Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University


2010-2014 PhD in Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

2006-2007 Masters in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

2002-2006 Undergraduate in Biology, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Work Experience

2015-now Research Associate, Leyser lab, SLCU, Cambridge, UK

Analysis of quantitative genetic data for environmentally-sensitive traits in Arabidopsis. Combining standard association mapping approaches (GWAS and QTL mapping using multi-parent RILs) with genome scans for selection signals in artifically selected populations (using an “evolve-and-resequence” approach).

2014-2015 Research Associate, Clark lab, The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich, UK

Draft genome assembly for an Asian honeybee species and genome-wide association mapping for parasite resistance in European honeybee.

2010-2014 PhD student, Coen lab, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

Used a combination of molecular genetics, genomics and population genetics to show the evolutionary forces that shape differentiation patterns across genomes in natural populations.

2008-2009 Research technician, Almeida lab, ITQB, Oeiras, Portugal

Characterised plant self-incompatibility genes, which are hypervariable genes comprising high numbers of alleles in populations.

2006-2007 Masters thesis, Almeida lab, ITQB, Oeiras, Portugal

Molecular isolation of transposons to be used for mutagenesis in non-model species.

Bioinformatics Support

Data analysis: initiated and run weekly “drop-in” sessions for SLCU researchers to get advice on data analysis and regularly support and collaborate with colleagues in the Leyser group

HPC cluster: co-maintainer of the SLCU cluster: install software, create accounts and support new users

Community building: organise data analysis activities at SLCU to foster ideas exchange: bi-weekly “statistics lunch chats” (currently running), a book club (finished), bioinformatics club (finished)

Data management: member of the Data Champions initiative at Cambridge University, whose purpose is to support researchers with research data management, sharing and reproducible data analysis

Computing support: member of the SLCU Computing Committee, participating in regular meetings to discuss computational needs in the institute

Training attented

Mar 2019 Computer vision with R and Python and Image Recognition & Deep Learning, Leuven University, Belgium

Oct 2018 Introduction to Bayesian statistics using BUGS, University of Cambridge, UK

Nov 2016 Data Carpentry instructor training, University of Cambridge, UK

Jul 2016 ELIXIR Train the Trainer, University of Cambridge, UK

Sep 2015 R object-oriented programming and package development, University of Cambridge, UK

Teaching and Supervision

Masters students

Gregory Tate, Part III Systems Biology thesis, University of Cambridge, UK

Elisabeth Forsyth, Part III Systems Biology thesis, University of Cambridge, UK

Undergraduate students

Liron Shenhav, Bachelors thesis, Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

Data analysis training

Certified Data Carpentry instructor and teaching material contributor

2016-now Regular R instuctor at the Cambridge University Bioinformatics Training facility: 100+ hours of teaching across 18 courses

2018 & 2019 3-day course on Exploratory Data Analysis: Data Carpentry in R at EMBL Heidelbergh (development of new lesson material)

2018 Co-organised a modular Introduction to R course tailored for SLCU researchers (development of new lesson material)

2018 2-day Data Carpentry course at Kings College London (development of new lesson material)

2017 2-day Data Carpentry course at the Francis Crick Institute, London



Shell scripting | R programming | Python programming | High performance computing cluster


Analysis of whole-genome Illumina data, including a wide range of bioinformatic tools with applications in transcriptome analysis, genetic mapping-by-sequencing, association mapping, population genomics, variant calling and de-novo genome assembly.

Data analysis

Expert in R statistical programming language, including packages for data manipulation and visualisation (e.g. data.table, dplyr, ggplot2), statistical modelling (e.g. lme4) and BioConductor packages (e.g. DEseq2, GenomicAlignments)



Tavares H, Whibley A, Field DL, …, Barton NH & Coen E (2018) Selection and gene flow shape genomic islands that control floral guides, PNAS 115:11006; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1801832115

Bradley D, …, Tavares H, …, Dalmay T & Coen S (2017) Evolution of flower color pattern through selection on regulatory small RNAs, Science 358:925; DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3526