Mike Steel directs the Biomathematics Research Centre, and is Professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department of University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is the deputy director (2009-) and a founding principal investigator of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and an elected fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Steel's research interests include mathematical biology (particularly phylogenetics, molecular evolution, biodiversity and origin of life) as well as applied probability and combinatorics. He is currently an associate editor for Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, and sits on the council for the Society for Systematic Biology. In 2007 he co-organized a 4-month workshop on Phylogenetics at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, UK.