The Tree of Life

All the evidence we shows that there is a single origin of life on earth. That means that all living organisms are related to each other. If we can discover how all these organisms are related to each other, that would be family tree of all life. In my research group, we are especially interested in the huge diversity of organisms with complex cells. These include all macroscopic (multicellular) organisms, like plants, animals and fungi, as well as many microscopic organisms such as amoebas and the huge abundance of microscopic algae. We try to discover these relationships by comparing the genomic sequences ("genetic code") of these organisms. This tree of all life gives us a unified picture of the diversity of life and helps us answer questions such as how diversity arise and how does it evolve. This leads to understand some of the basic principles of biology so that we can understand how organisms work and what to do when they don't.