Burki lab - Microbial eukaryote diversity and evolution

Microbes represent the vast majority of eukaryotic diversity, yet we have barely scratched the surface of this extraordinary reservoir of genetic information. Without such information, it is currently impossible to comprehensively understand important evolutionary transitions of the eukaryotic cell. In my group, we are looking at the fascinating diversity of protists to understand major events in the evolution of eukaryotes, such as the origin and spread of plastids or the reductive evolution of mitochondria.

Current projects include:
• Reconstructing the eukaryotic tree of life using phylogenomics, with particular focus on plastid evolution from a host perspective.
• Genomics of Ascetosporea (Rhizaria), a diverse but overlooked protistean parasitic group of aquatic invertebrates.
• Development of new high-throughput means to assess the eukaryotic diversity.

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