Munch Lab


My name is Kasper Munch. I am an assistant professor at the Bioinformatics Research Centre (BiRC) at Aarhus University. My main line of research focuses on full genome approaches to understand the evolution of recombination patterns in humans and the great apes, but my research also covers speciation processes, selection, demography and population structure in great apes.

Born June 21. 1974, Denmark, Danish Citizen

Academic positions


Sep. 1. 2015 Associate professor, University of Aarhus, BiRC
Feb. 1. 2014 Aug. 31 2015 Assistant professor, University of Aarhus, BiRC
Oct. 1. 2009 Jan 31. 2014 Postdoc, University of Aarhus, BiRC
March 1. 2008 Sept 30. 2009 Postdoc, UC Berkeley with Montgomery Slatkin
March 1. 2006 Feb 30. 2008 Postdoc, University of Copenhagen with Rasmus Nielsen


May 1. 2002 Jan. 20. 2006 Ph.D in Bioinformatics, University of Copenhagen
Sept 1. 1994 Nov 17. 2001 Master of Science in Biology, Aarhus University

Parental leaves

Oct. 20. 2010 Jan. 11. 2011 Son
Nov. 13. 2006 Feb 25. 2007 Daughter


  • The Lundbeck Foundation funded postdoc at UC Berkeley by 728.234 DKR.
  • Novozymes / Biosys Network funded three months of my Ph.D.

Scientific impact

International collaborators

  • Kay Prüfer and Svante Paabo, Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany
  • Richard Durbin, Welcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK
  • Rasmus Nielsen, UC Berkeley, USA
  • Eske Willerslev, Copenhagen University
  • Tomàs Marques-Bonet, Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain
  • John Huelsenbeck, UC Berkeley, USA
  • Laurent Duret, University of Lyon, France
  • Jody Hey, Rutgers, New Jersey, USA

Invited lectures and conference presentations

  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 2014.
  • Coalescent Theory: New Developments and Applications Workshop, Montreal University 2013
  • Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu 2012.
  • Department of Biology, Aarhus University 2011.
  • Third International Barcode of Life Conference, Mexico City 2009.
  • Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley 2009.
  • Biostatistics, UC Berkeley 2008.
  • Barcoding Symposium, Paris 2006.
  • Affymetrix Symposium Series 2006, Online web lecture.
  • Nordic Bioinformatics Network Symposium, Stockholm 2005.
  • Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 2005.
  • Molecular Biology and Evolution, Auckland 2005.

Recent Posters

  • Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2014
  • Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2013
  • Biology of Genomes 2012


  • Web of Science: 13
  • Google Scholar: 14

Software development

Agene: a program that automatically generates species-specific gene prediction models from a set of mRNA sequences and a genome. It applies a hidden Markov model that implements explicit length distribution modeling for all gene structure blocks using acyclic discrete phase-type distributions.

ExpressHMM: a program for inferring genome expression from tiling array data. It applies a probabilistic procedure that adaptively models tiling data prior to predicting expression on genomic sequence

SAP: The Statistical Assignment Package is a program that performs a statistical assignment of an unknown DNA sequence to a taxonomic group using a database with DNA sequences from known organisms.


Copenhagen University:

  • Lecturer in “Bioinformatics I and Bioinformatics II on hidden Markov models”, 2002-2005.
  • Lecturer and course responsible for “Molecular biology for Bioinformaticians”, 2002-2003.

Aarhus University:

  • Lecturer on Tree of Life 1, 2014-indefinitely
  • Lecturer on Tree of Life 2, 2014-indefinitely
  • Lecturer and course responsible for Applied Programming, 2010-indefinitely
  • Lecturer on Molecular Population Genetics, 2010-2013
  • Lecturer on Introduction to Bioinformatics, 2011-indefinitely

Outreach and public appearances

  • As a leading author on the recently published bonobo genome, I communicated our results to Danish media. I was interviewed on the news on TV2 Østjylland, as well as Danish P3 and P4 radio. The publication was covered by Jyllands Posten, 13 regional newspapers, 3 news agencies, and 27 news websites.
  • I maintain a popular science research blog where I communicate my published results.
  • I participate in “Folkeskolepraktik” and “Gymnasiedag” every year, both hosted by Aarhus University.
  • I am co-authoring an article on coalescent-HMMs in “Aktuel Naturvidenskab”.

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