Pauls research centres on better understanding epigenetic regulation of transcription in diverse vertebrate representatives, specifically focussing on sex chromosomes dosage compensation. The ultimate goal is to understand how complex epigenetic silencing mechanisms evolved. During his PhD Paul focused on the gene content and evolution of marsupial Y chromosomes, and throughout his first postdoc in South Africa he focused on the genomics of Afrotheria (basal eutherian mammals; which include elephant, aardvarks, etc.).
He was awarded an ARC discovery project to further explore the epigenetics of vertebrate dosage compensation. The next stage of vertebrate genomics and epigenetics for his group involves much use of short read sequencing technologies.
Paul is currently using the Tasmanian devil to develop a technique for sequencing a whole mammal Y chromosome. For a study of dosage compensation in phylogenetically important vertebrate taxa, he has sequenced the transcriptomes from a male and female elephant, along with a male and female opossum. He uses ChIP-Seq to examine the chromatin modifications associated with vertebrate dosage compensation. He has ChIP samples being sequenced from the same opossum cell lines that the transcriptomes were sequenced, which will allow him to directly correlate transcription levels with chromatin modifications on a genome wide scale, avoiding problems associated with variation between individuals and tissue type.