College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

Michael P. Cummings

Michael Cummings

Associate Professor


Office Phone: 301.405.9903
Fax: 301.314.1341
Office Address: 3121 Biomolecular Sciences Building


  • BSCI471 Molecular Evolution
  • BIOL671 Molecular Evolution
  • Bioinformatics and Genomics, CBMG688Y

Graduate Program Affiliations

  • BISI - Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics (CBBG)
  • BISI - Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics (BEES)

Research Interests

Our research is in the areas of computational biology, bioinformatics and molecular evolution, and includes examination of patterns and processes of sequence evolution to understand molecular evolutionary mechanisms that bring about biological change. The basis for much of the research is comparative and includes several levels of biological organization. In addition to answering specific biological questions, a substantial portion of our research has focused on experimental design and data analysis methods.

Recent Publications

  • Bazinet AL, Zwickl DJ, Cummings MP (2014) A gateway for phylogenetic analysis powered by grid computing featuring GARLI 2.0. Systematic Biology accepted.
  • Bazinet AL, Cummings MP, Mitter KT, Mitter C (2013) Can RNA-Seq resolve the rapid radiation of advanced moths and butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera)? An exploratory study. PLoS ONE 8:e82615.
  • Regier JC, Mitter C, Zwick A, Bazinet AL, Cummings MP, Kawahara AY, Sohn J-C, Zwickl DJ, Cho S, Davis DR, Baixeras J, Brown J, Parr C, Weller S, Lees DC, Mitter KT (2013) A large-scale, higher-level, molecular phylogenetic study of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). PLoS ONE 8:e58568.
  • Sohn J-C, Regier JC, Mitter C, Davis D, Landry J-F, Zwick A, Cummings MP (2013) A molecular phylogeny for Yponomeutoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Ditrysia) and its implications for classification, biogeography and the evolution of host plant use. PLoS ONE 8:e55066.
  • Takala-Harrison S, Clark TG, Jacob CG, Cummings MP, Miotto O, Dondorp AM, Fukuda MM, Nosten F, Noedl H, Imwong M, Bethell D, Se Y, Lon C, Tyner SD, Saunders D, Socheat D, Ariey F, Phyo AP, Starzengruber P, Fuehrer H-P, Swoboda P, Stepniewska K, Flegg J, Arze C, Cerqueira GC, Silva JC, Ricklefs S, Porcella SF, Stephens RM, Adams M, Kenefic L, Campino S, Auburn S, MacInnis B, Kwiatkowski DP, Su X-z, White NJ, Ringwald P, Plowe CV (2013) Genetic loci associated with delayed clearance of Plasmodium falciparum following artemisinin treatment in Southeast Asia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110:240–245.
  • Regier JC, Mitter C, Solis MA, Hayden JE, Landry B, Nuss M, Simonsen TJ, Yen SH, Zwick A, Cummings MP (2012) A molecular phylogeny for the pyraloid moths (Lepidoptera: Pyraloidea) and its implications for higher-level classification. Systematic Entomology 37:635–656.
  • Bazinet AL, Cummings MP (2012) A comparative evaluation of sequence classification programs. BMC Bioinformatics 13:92.
  • Regier JC, Brown JW, Mitter C, Baixeras J, Cho S, Cummings MP, Zwick A (2012) A molecular phylogeny for the leaf-roller moths (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and its implications for classification and life history evolution. PLoS ONE 7:e35574.
  • Ayres DL, Darling A, Zwickl DJ, Beerli P, Holder MT, Lewis PO, Huelsenbeck JP, Ronquist F, Swofford DL, Cummings MP, Rambaut A, Suchard MA (2012) BEAGLE: an application programming interface and high-performance computing library for statistical phylogenetics. Systematic Biology 61:170–173.
  • Kawahara AY, Ohshima I, Kawakita A, Regier JC, Mitter C, Cummings MP, Davis DR, Wagner DL, De Prinis J, Lopez-Vaamonde C (2011) Increased gene sampling strengthens support for higher-level groups within leaf-mining moths and relatives (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:182.
  • Cho S, Zwick A, Regier JC, Mitter C, Cummings MP, Yao J, Du Z, Zhao H, Kawahara AY, Weller S, Davis DR, Baixeras J, Brown JW, Parr C (2011) Can deliberately incomplete gene sample augmentation improve a phylogeny estimate for the advanced moths and butterflies (Hexapoda: Lepidoptera)? Systematic Biology 60:782–796.
  • Zwick A, Regier JC, Mitter C, Cummings MP (2011) Increased gene sampling yields robust support for higher-level clades within Bombycoidea (Lepidoptera). Systematic Entomology 36:31–43.
  • Bazinet AL, Cummings MP (2011) Computing the Tree of Life — Leveraging the power of desktop and service grids, in 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing Workshops and PhD Forum pg. 1896–1902.
  • Cummings, MP, Temple GG (2010)  Broader incorporation of bioinformatics in education: opportunities and challenges. Briefings in Bioinformatics 11:537–543..


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1992. Molecular evolution, bioinformatics, computational biology.