Dr. Benjamin C. Haller

Evolutionary biologist

Software engineer
  benhaller {at} benhaller.com

Current work

I am presently working as a Research Programmer / Analyst in the lab of Dr. Philipp Messer at Cornell University. In particular, I am the primary developer on SLiM, an evolutionary simulation software package used for research and teaching. As a part of that project, I also developed Eidos, an open-source scripting language used to control SLiM (and potentially usable to control other such software). In general I am not looking for work, but I am happy to provide support and consulting for SLiM and Eidos.

I also have my own software company, Stick Software, with shareware and freeware products for Mac OS X.


My research interest is in the details of the process of speciation: how do new species develop, what drives or inhibits that, and what theoretical models of speciation best fit nature? In my research, I develop computational simulations of eco-evolutionary processes, using Mac OS X, Objective-C, Cocoa, NetLogo, and R. With these simulations I observe speciation as an ongoing process, in order to better understand its dynamics. I'm particularly interested in the early stages of speciation: gene flow, adaptive divergence, and the ecological speciation model.

I finished my PhD at McGill with Andrew Hendry in June 2013, and did a postdoc with Luis-Miguel Chevin at CEFE/CNRS in Montpellier, France.

For an example of my research, here's a talk I gave at Speciation 2010. For a more in-depth view, here is my PhD thesis.

Here's a workshop I made on Programming in R.

Personal information

Curriculum vitae


Word clouds

Me on Google Scholar Citations

Me on ResearchGate

Me on ResearcherID

Me on LinkedIn

I started out as a software engineer, and I worked at Apple, Berkeley Systems, Symantec, NeXT, and other companies for many years. In the end, however, I decided that I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life, so I went into science. I believe that humanity is rapidly heading for a bottleneck, due to our enormous impact on the planet. Only science will be able to see us through that crisis. It is essential to improve science education, to increase investment in research and development, and to base public policy on hard scientific facts, not on fantasy. My hope is that my research will lead to policy recommendations regarding the preservation of biodiversity in the face of global climate change and other anthropogenic impacts.

Links to my other stuff

The Hunting of the Model: An Agony in One Byte (or Eight Bits)

my photography: Cloud Photographic

my software: Stick Software

benaustria: My Europe travel blog (2010-11)

benamazon: My Amazon travel blog (2008)

eco-evo evo-eco: a blog about ecology and evolution (about this blog)

Other useful links


This page copyright © 2016 Ben Haller Last updated 4 April 2016